Consumer directed care and client centered care
consumer directed care

Consumer directed care and client centred care are models of service provision that afford clients choice and flexibility. We all want ageing Australians, those living with (dis)ability and those people who need some additional support to be independent, have choices and live their best life. Respect and dignity are human rights, regardless of ones physical and mental health, cultural beliefs, religious views or values.

Consequently, prospective clients ask about Consumer Directed Care (CDC) and our client-centered model of service delivery. What do they mean, how are they different and are these models of service delivery widespread within the industry.

Consumer directed care

We deliver our aged care in the home services under the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model. What this essentially means is that under this service model, our Home Care Package clients have more choice, flexibility and control.

There are 6 guiding principles of consumer directed care which ensure the rights of senior Australians are protected:

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

Consumer choice and flexibility are fundamental to CDC, defining a Home Care Package recipient’s right to:

  • support from their provider to set goals relevant to their care needs,
  • freely decide how much involvement they wish to have in the management of their care package,
  • make decisions specific to their care,
  • maintain their independence as far as possible,
  • most importantly, choice and flexibility in care service provision, specifically the how, who, what, when and where of care services that are within the limits of their available resources, and
  • personally participate or have their chosen representative take part in decisions that impact them and their care provision.

These six key principles inform the creation and delivery of our Home Care Packages to our clients. However, as a provider our role is multi-faceted. We encourage our clients to look at the areas they need support in and to identify their goals of care which will form the backbone of their care plan. Are they finding cooking for themselves every night a challenge and if they had someone to support them in this task, would their diet be improved?

The fundamentals of CDC

We take the time to explain to our clients the fundamentals of their HCP plan, what services match the goals they want to work towards and most importantly, we empower them to choose the way services are delivered to them and by whom. In addition to having choice and control over the ‘how’ and by ‘whom’, we ask our clients the level of participation they personally want to have in the management of their plan. Some clients are happy to have no involvement at all, while others like to participate in all aspects of their plan. The key being, our clients have choice.

Coupled with choice and control is transparency. As the provider of HCP services, it is our responsibility to make individualised budget and monthly statement of income and expenditure, fully transparent and available to our clients. Our client’s budget must list the value of the Government HCP including supplements, fees payable and the cost of care services, whilst the monthly statement must list care services provided and expenditure for any given month, in a clear and easily understood format.

We keep in regular contact with our clients to check they are happy with the services they are receiving and to uncover any potential need for change. We like to check in and ensure they are safe within their home and they haven’t sustained any injuries or health setbacks requiring adjustments to their plan. “Reablement involves time-limited interventions that are targeted towards a person’s specific goal or desired outcome to adapt to some functional loss, or regain confidence and capacity to resume activities”1. Activities that promote wellness and reablement are critical factors in helping our clients maintain independence in the comfort of their own home.

Client centered care

Our client’s care is paramount, therefore, our (dis)ability support and private care services are client-centered and client-driven. Further, as an organisation we place a strong emphasis on the development and delivery of our services. They must be respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of our clients, their carers and families. With these principles driving our service development and delivery we can focus on maintaining our client’s privacy, earning their respect, and preserving their dignity. 

There are six key principles of the client-centered service model:

1. Valuing and respecting people

Treating people with dignity and respect by:
– Awareness and support of personal views, values, beliefs and preferences,
– Listening to one another (clients, carers, families, staff and management) and working in partnership to design and deliver services.

2. Autonomy

Through understanding our client’s strengths and interests, we promote independence. Affording choice, control and decision-making opportunities, whilst simultaneously, balancing the organisations rights, risks and responsibilities.

3. Life experience

Valuing our clients and their individuality. Embracing the influence of culture, values and beliefs and how these factors shape one’s past, present life experiences and hopes for the future.

4. Understanding relationships

Facilitating collaborative relationships and social connectedness. Achieving this through opportunities to engage in meaningful activities, between our organisation, our clients and their carers.

5. Environment

Creating an organisational environment that champions the client-centered and client-driven service model.

6. Valuing people during the assessment process

A client-centered approach sees us providing accessible, responsive and flexible care services. With this in mind, services are matched to the diverse needs and preferences of our clients.

Learning what is important to the individual patient, fostering relationships based on trust and respect, while collaborating and working together to share decisions and plan care, forms the basis of client-centred healthcare. Our clients become empowered and accountable for their own care and involved in the decisions that affect them.

“There is good evidence that person-centred approaches to care can lead to improvements in safety, quality and cost effectiveness, as well as improvements in patient and staff satisfaction.”2

In conclusion, the focus of service provision remains on the individual. This is irrespective of whether care is provided to ageing Australians, those living with (dis)ability or private clients. Moreover, we deliver our care services in a manner that is respectful, supportive and informative. Having the client and their families involved in the coordination and provision of care is the gold standard.

Call our friendly team today on 1300 33 11 03


  1. South Australia Collaborative Projects
  2. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Home Care – Person Centred Care
consumer directed care