Start here if you’re exploring your home care options. This simple guide takes the confusion out of how to organise a home care service and be assessed for any government-funded support.

Working through your aged care options feels like a maze. But at the heart of it all, there is one clear certainty: the wish to live independently at home.

The vast majority of older adults in New Zealand want to live in their home for as long as possible, so they can maintain their quality of life. Home care makes this wish feasible by allowing you to get help with daily tasks while remaining in surroundings that are full of memories.

Here are four things we wish everyone knew when considering their aged care options:


1. Identify that home care is required

The need for home care is different for every person. Perhaps you are recovering from a sudden illness or injury, or you’ve been gradually experiencing difficulties with tasks like laundry, showering and driving.

Once you realise that help at home is required, identify exactly what you would like assistance with and communicate this to your loved ones.

Here is what to do next, depending on how urgent your care needs are:

  • Future home care: Start planning as soon as you start to notice signs that you require home care, so you have enough time to be assessed for government support (there’s more on how to do that below).
  • Immediate home care: When home care is required after a sudden illness or injury, call us. We can match you with a CAREGiver in as little as four hours.


2. Know your options: In-home aged care vs aged care facility

Will home care offer enough support? Even if you want to remain at home, you might be wondering how care works in a home setting.

The good news is there are a variety of home care services available to help you keep living independently:

Remember you can always take a planned approach, engaging home care and assistance in small increments to see how it works for you.

The alternative is an aged care facility or a retirement village, and each facility will offer different levels of support and independence. If you’re considering a retirement village or similar, home care services can be delivered there.

For a more detailed overview of how home care services are delivered, take a look at the Home Care Solution guide at the end of this post.


3. See if you’re eligible for government funding

The first thing to do when you realise you need more assistance is to consult your General Practitioner to request a Needs Assessment Service Coordination  (NASC) assessment to determine what level of support you are eligible to receive. You can also refer yourself to NASC agency for assessment.

The assessment involves a health professional (e.g. a nurse, occupational therapist or social worker) having a conversation with you and your family or carers, making observations and referring to other clinical information to determine an appropriate level of support. This assessment is used to provide information to support decision making by health professionals – they do not specify the range, type, or hours of services to be allocated. This is a follow up process determined by local service guidelines and options.

Once you know how much government-funded support you can obtain, it’s time to find a home provider and to decide whether you need additional private assistance.


4. Find a home provider you are comfortable with

The Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) agencies work with older people to help identify what support services are available. They allocate government-funded support services and assist with accessing other supports. More information on the NASC process is available here.

It’s important to  research and meet with your preferred provider so you can get started as soon as possible.

When you do meet with a home care provider, keep this checklist of questions handy. It will help you to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision, particularly around whether the level of support is adequate or whether more is needed.

Click here to view our easy to use Service Provider Checklist.


High-quality, relationship-based care

Home Instead New Zealand is a specialist provider of private in-home care for older New Zealanders. We provide essential additional support to complement government-funded services or we can provide fully private care to our clients. Our services include personal care, light housework, meal preparation,  medication reminders, transport to medical appointments, shopping and social outings, and welcome companionship.

To talk to your local Home Instead New Zealand office, call us on 09 300 6053 or email