How to organise home care

There are four main ways home care can be organised:

  • On discharge from public hospital, short-term help may be provided while you convalesce, discuss with the hospital social worker.
  • Long-term care may be provided for people with ongoing care needs, organise through Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination (NASC). 
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) can provide home care. Arrange through your ACC case worker.
  • You can make your own private arrangements with a Home Care agency. Not all agencies service privately paying clients.

Find local contacts

Subsidised or publicly funded services

A Needs Assessment is required to establish eligibility for subsidised services. You must hold a Community Service Card for help with routine housework. Assistance with personal care such as showering and dressing does not require a card. An authorised assessor will visit and discuss with you how much help you need at home. If you share accommodation, assistance from those you live with is also considered. Assessment can be provided in public hospital by a hospital-based assessor or in the community by NASC, see contacts above.

For those receiving long-term subsidised service, spring cleaning is regarded as an extra and you are expected to pay for this yourself. It may be possible to claim Disability Allowance(external link) to help pay for lawns and gardening. Contact your local Work and Income office or phone 0800 552 002.

Private arrangements

Most agencies offer housework and personal care, some also offer nursing and short-term relief care. For costs please contact a number of agencies in your area to establish local rates.

Points to consider when first making your enquiry:

  • Do they provide the services you require e.g nursing?
  • Have staff members had special training?
  • Is there a cancellation fee?
  • Is there an extra charge for weekend work?
  • Is there a minimum time charged?
  • Do you still have to pay if you go on holiday or into hospital?
  • Is there a set-up charge and how do you pay?


What you can expect from home support services?

The Ministry of Health(external link) has information about home support services, how to involve family in your home support plan, how to improve home support services and how to raise a concern or complaint. 

What is restorative homecare?

The restorative approach marks a shift from "doing things for older people" to "working alongside older people". The focus is to improve and restore function, building strength, capacity and independence. It can include coaching to undergo an exercise programme designed to increase mobility or prevent falls, help in re-establishing social connections in the community, regaining skills and practical support to keep the household going. Many district health boards now include the restorative approach in their home care contracting as research shows it improves health-related quality of life.

For further information and assistance

If you need further information or have a complaint about a home care service, please contact:

  • Your NASC case manager
  • Your home care service manager
  • The New Zealand Home Health Association Inc phone 04 472 3196
  • Health and Disability Commissioner phone 0800 11 22 33
  • Advocacy Services, Health and Disability phone 0800 555 050
  • The funding agency e.g. DHB or your ACC case manager