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What is Consumer Directed Care (CDC) in home care?

Flexibility and choice is the future direction of aged care. This means the industry can uphold the rights and wishes of older people who are receiving care and services.

Last updated: January 10th 2023
CDC: Giving you a choice. [Source: Shutterstock]

CDC: Giving you a choice. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • Now, more than ever, you can have control over the care and services you need
  • Consumer Directed Care means your rights are upheld as an older person
  • Your Home Care Package is directed to you rather than to your provider

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is all about choice and control. It gives you and your carers a greater say in the type of care you receive to support you at home, and who provides those services.

Providers will work in partnership with you to determine your requirements and individual goals. You can be as involved as you want to be in managing your package and the cost of services and how money is spent is more transparent.

CDC is currently only available for Home Care Packages (HCP).

What the CDC approach means for you

The CDC model will help give you greater independence and puts you in control over the services you receive.

Australian seniors peak body, COTA Australia, sums up the meaning of CDC to older people as:

CDC is about the fact that most people have managed their lives all their life and want to go on doing so, despite the challenges they face.”

So essentially:

CDC puts you in complete control when making choices about the types of care and services you wish to access.

A Home Care Package (HCP) delivered on a ‘CDC basis’ means having the choice to:

  • Have more say in the care and services you wish to receive, how it is delivered, and by whom
  • Develop your own care plan with your service provider
  • Determine how much involvement you want in managing your HCP
  • Have more understanding about how your HCP is funded, and how these funds will be spent. You will also be able to see how much funding you have in your specific package
  • Monitor your HCP to determine whether it still meets your care needs

There are six principles to CDC:

  • Choice and control over your care as a consumer
  • Your rights will be respected and upheld
  • A mutually respected and balanced partnership with your provider
  • As little or as much participation in the management of your care as you wish
  • Your provider will assist with your wellness and re-ablement
  • You will have full transparency around how your package funding is used and what services you receive

​Why the move to CDC?

The Australian Government wants to help you live independently in your own home for as long as possible.

In 2012, the Government’s ‘Living Longer Living Better’ aged care reforms identified the need for more choice and flexibility for people receiving care at home.

Hence: The creation of CDC which provides choice and control to the consumers.

The future of CDC

Since February 2017, Home Care Packages started to be allocated directly to you, the consumer, rather than straight to a provider.

This means you can choose any approved provider, suited to your individual needs and circumstances, to provide the care that will best enable you to live independently at home for longer.

CDC has also made it easier for you to change service providers if you wish. For example, if you move to a different area. You simply take the package with you and choose a different approved provider to continue your care.

Will CDC be offered in nursing homes?

CDC is currently only available for HCPs at the moment.

However, the Government has indicated it has plans to introduce CDC into residential aged care in the future.

There is no specific date for residential aged care providers to implement CDC.

More about Consumer Directed Care

Click the play button below to listen to this podcast about Consumer Directed Care and what it means for you.

Are you happy to have more choice and control over your Home Care Package? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

What is a Home Care Package (HCP)?
How to have “the home care talk” with your parents
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