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What is personal care?

Personal care is care provided to older people by a caregiver or home support service related to personal hygiene and care of your body. This may include tasks such as bathing and showering, personal grooming such as washing your hair, cutting nails or shaving, dressing and undressing, and assisting with toileting.

Personal care is different to practical needs (often known as household management): these relate to services of a domestic nature, and may include help with housework, meal preparation and grocery shopping.

Generally, personal care is provided by accredited home support agencies in the place you lives (including retirement villages). If an interRAI assessment shows you need help with your personal care, this is generally funded (publicly subsidised) regardless of your financial circumstances. You may choose to add additional support services by paying for these privately too. Short term intensive support programmes that may be offered and ACC services are managed and funded differently.

You can find a list of service providers that offer personal care, as well as other support services, on our Making Life Easier site.  

Whoever you choose to provide personal care services, it is important that personal care is carried out in a respectful and dignified manner, taking into account the preferences and needs of the individual receiving care.

Updated: 13 Jul 2023
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