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Keywords:

  • aged care;
  • community care;
  • consumer-directed care

The Australian Government has commenced a two-year pilot of consumer-directed care (CDC) across 500 home and community aged care packages. This policy paper discusses the model being trialled in Australia in light of the UK's Individual Budgets' Pilot Programme and the USA's Cash and Counselling Demonstration. The results of these randomised controlled studies suggest that older people vary in their preferences for consumer direction and that many find the administrative tasks of implementing CDC programs difficult. The relatively restricted model of CDC that the Australian Government is trialling may minimise the problems encountered in the overseas programs, but does not allow consumers to hire family or friends which they preferred to do overseas.