Background: Our study explored client experience of Australian Consumer Directed Care. This evolving funding model enables consumer autonomy and choice, allowing older people to remain in their community as they age and need support through the creation of a personalised support service. Consumer Directed Care focuses on providing services that the consumer self-determines to meeting their needs including identifying their types of services, from whom, when and how these services are delivered. Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted in two Australian states between August 2015 and April 2016 with 14 participants, preferably in receipt of CDC services for at least the previous 12 months. Questions explored how the participant first learned about this service; the types of services they received; whether services met their needs; and any additional support services they personally purchased. Interviews were transcribed, coded and thematically analysed. Results: Four main themes related to consumer experience emerged. Knowledge: Unsure what Consumer Directed Care Means. Acceptance: Happily taking any prescriptive service that is offered. Compliance: Unhappily acceding to the prescriptive service that is offered. External Influences: Previous aged care service experience, financial position, and cultural differences. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the anticipated outcomes of Consumer Directed Care providing a better service experience were limited by existing client knowledge of these services, how best to utilise their funding allocation, and their acceptance or compliance with what was offered, even if this was not personalised or sufficient. External influences, such as service experience, finances, cultural difference, impacted the way clients managed their allocation. Our study identified that ongoing engagement and discussion with the client is required to ensure that services are specific, directly relevant and effective to achieving a consumer directed care service.
- Consumer directed care