<br />
<b>Notice</b>:  Trying to get property of non-object in <b>/home/cardena/public_html/templates/frontend/html/com_k2/articles/item.php</b> on line <b>30</b><br />

Staying at home as we age: Consumer choice and control around Home Care

by Iain Reid

Up until February 2017, Australian home care services were allocated in care level packages, which were awarded to service providers. Now, consumers in need of care are assessed for levels of home care and associated funding, which they can use to purchase services from providers of their choice. This is called Consumer Directed Choice or “CDC”.

The system is designed to allow older people to age at home and within familiar communities, rather than moving to a residential aged care home.

This major reform has changed home care from a directed market to a self-directed market and, as a result, many people are finding it hard to know what services they need to buy, how to buy them, and who to buy them from. Certainly, the move to CDC has not been without issues or critics. A major new National Seniors Survey of 4,267 members found 98 per cent of those aged 50 and above believed choice of home care services was extremely or very important regardless of their age, with those living on the age pension most likely to say it was extremely important1.

However, despite almost universal support for it, a fifth of respondents had no confidence of being able to choose a provider to suit their needs, and just over another third were unsure2. National Seniors member interviews and local member forums revealed some of the problems with the new system, including lack of choice, high administration fees and insufficient care packages. Confidence was particularly low among residents of regional communities, where the number of providers was low or non-existent3.

Comments from these forums include:

“My experience with my mother made me realise that getting on a list for home care was difficult, the service providers do not have the staff, and packages arrive too late. My mother went into a care facility before we could arrange any home care support4  .”

“My father doesn’t know what he is paying for, the carer turns up when they want to and he is too sick to question it, and he just doesn’t understand the system and assumes the service provider is doing the right thing 5 .”

This experience in Australia mirrors what has happened elsewhere in the world during the start-up phase of consumer-directed systems. It takes every part of the system time to get used to having choice 5.

Already one million Australians are receiving aged care services, the majority at home. By 2050 it is projected to be more than five million 5.

The system remains complex, everyone is means assessed, and where they have means they’ll be expected to contribute to the cost of care. It is therefore crucial that families become engaged around care and start planning early.

For more information or help with your family’s needs in this area, please contact a member of the team at Cardena Private Wealth or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Source:

1 McCallum, J. & Rees, K. (2017). Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions. Brisbane: National Seniors. Page 11

2 McCallum, J. & Rees, K. (2017). Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions. Brisbane: National Seniors. Page 12

3 McCallum, J. & Rees, K. (2017). Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions. Brisbane: National Seniors. Pages 4 & 9 the comments have been edited from the original

4 McCallum, J. & Rees, K. (2017). Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions. Brisbane: National Seniors. Page 15 the comments have been edited from the original;

5 McCallum, J. & Rees, K. (2017). Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions. Brisbane: National Seniors. Page 4

The information provided in this article is general information only and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for you in light of your personal objectives, financial situation and needs, and consult your Cardena Private Wealth adviser before making a decision.