06 January 2023

What is consumer directed care (CDC)?

7 min read

What is consumer directed care (CDC)?

Consumer directed care is the new model of providing care by offering consumers more choice and flexibility. Consumer directed care gives people who receive home care services more control over the care and services package they receive, including how it is delivered and who provides it.

Home care packages are designed to help people who want to stay living at home for as long as possible and are provided on a consumer directed care basis.

What consumer directed care involves

This means you get to work together with your service provider to develop your care plan and choose the level of involvement you have in managing the care services given to you.

Consumer directed care also allows you to see how your home care funding is being spent through your personal budget with a monthly income and expense statement. This may help you see if you are getting the best price or decide if you need to make your funding go further.

Consumer directed care also ensures your service providers makes formal reviews to monitor your care and makes sure that your package still meets your requirements.

If your needs have changed, you can undertake a reassessment to find out if you need to alter your package. If you cannot meet your care needs under your home care package budget, you may also need to be reassessed to see if you are eligible for a higher level of services. You may also need to use your own financial assets to cover the cost of your services. Or you may need to consider residential aged care services. Estia Health owns and operates residential aged care homes across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. To learn more about these locations visit Our Homes.

History of consumer directed care

Consumer directed care for home care packages was first piloted by the Federal Government in 2010-11. From August 1, 2013, all new home care packages were then required to be delivered on a consumer directed care basis before being introduced for all packages from July 1, 2015.

In 2012, the Federal Government had identified the need to give people who receive care at home more control over their services under its Living Longer Living Better reforms for aged care.

From February 2017, consumer directed care underwent further changes, with the funding for home care packages allocated directly to the person receiving care.

These packages are portable so that consumers can change their service provider if they want to and take their package with them if they move.

What are the basic principles of consumer directed care?

Consumer directed care or (CDC) is a way of delivering care that gives you choice and flexibility. A CDC approach should give you:

choices about the types of assistance you want and who will deliver the services and when
control over decisions that relate to your life and your care
information and knowledge so you can make more informed decisions.

The government has included CDC principles in Aged Care laws to ensure older people’s rights are protected.

Home Care Packages take a CDC approach, meaning that you:

• are encouraged to identify your goals which will be the basis of the care plan
• decide how much involvement you want to have in managing the package
• can choose the way services are delivered and by whom
• have an individualised budget and a monthly statement of income and expenditure
• can expect regular contact with your provider, and to change your supports if your needs or preferences change.

There are six principles of consumer directed care:

1. Consumer choice and control
2. Rights
3. Respectful and balanced partnerships
4. Participation
5. Wellness and re-ablement
6. Transparency

These principles guide the delivery of Home Care Packages.

What are the benefits of Consumer Directed Care?

If you’ve been looking into aged care in Australia, whether it’s for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve probably come across Consumer Directed Care (CDC). The CDC legislation was launched by the Government, and these changes to the aged care system will give more choice and flexibility to consumers so you’re able to have more of a say in and more control over, the care you’re looking for.

With CDC, the power is now in your hands when it comes to your (or your loved one’s) government care package. It allows you more power to influence the design and delivery of the services you receive and allows you to exercise a greater degree of choice in what services are delivered, where and when they are delivered. Previously, approved providers held all government-funded packages, but now you own your package so you can decide who will provide your care and when.

What are the most important things to know?

More choice and flexibility – you can now choose who will provide your care and change providers if you aren’t happy with the care you are receiving

You have control and visibility over yours, or your loved one’s care including transparency into the costs of your care

There’s more focus on wellness and enablement to age in the home that you love

To find out more, you can always read up on your options on My Aged Care.

If you’re looking into care at the moment – whether it’s for yourself or for a loved one – then knowing your different options and what you’re entitled to are the most important tools to help you get the most out of your care provider. To find out more about the ins and outs of CDC, click here.