The shift to increased client control in home care risks pushing family carers to the background, writes Cathy Duncan.
Much of the current information regarding consumer directed care can lead to the assumption that the consumer is only the individual who is receiving care.
Whilst CDC has provided many older people with new choices in services, it may have also created a new dilemma for providers in how to balance the need to provide individualised service directed by the care recipient and somehow continue to value and work in partnership with family and friend carers.
My interest in this issue has come about as part of my current PhD research into the impact of home care package reform on the experience of carers and from my previous experience as an Aged Care Assessment Team social worker.
In this role I saw how working in partnership with informal carers was not only core business for package care providers but an effective way to keep older people at home for as long as possible.