Governments in a number of countries are experimenting with ways in which they can give the elderly more autonomy over decisions about their care, sometimes called consumer-directed care or person-centered care.

During the ACSA Conference in Australia this week, Professor David Challis from UK’s University of Manchester reported on a pilot in England  in which 1000 social care recipients were given direct payments of funds so they could choose how they wanted it to be used.

As reported in Australian Ageing Agenda, while some spent the allotment on ‘leisure’ needs, most realized that use of the funds were to help them with care needs.   And Professor Challis observed that the shift didn’t seem to pose a threat to the provision of traditional care services.