Serious injury & disability

Personal care

ACC can support you by providing someone to help with your personal care needs.


How we can help with your personal care

When it comes to personal care, such as hygiene, grooming and household tasks, most people prefer to do as much as possible for themselves. However, you might need help with some tasks: we call this ‘attendant care’. This can include tasks like:

  • regular turning and repositioning in bed to prevent pressure sores
  • taking showers or baths, washing your hair, shaving and brushing your teeth
  • using the toilet
  • taking medications and other health care, with help from a registered nurse if necessary
  • using continence products
  • eating and drinking
  • getting to and from treatment and rehabilitation appointments
  • getting out and about in your community or going to school
  • getting into your clothes, tying shoelaces or putting on makeup
  • getting into and out of bed.

Are there any alternatives to personal care?

Yes, often equipment or technology can allow you to perform tasks for yourself. A simple change to your environment, such as installing a wet-area bathroom in your house, can give you more freedom and control over your life.

Ask your ACC Support or Service Coordinator if there’s any equipment, technology, or modifications to your home that could help you to do things for yourself.
 

Deciding how many hours of personal care you’ll need

We use a Support Needs Assessment to find out how many hours of personal care you’ll need. The assessment considers:

  • your current abilities and needs
  • your future plans
  • how much support is available to you from your whānau/family and the community.

Find out more about Support Needs Assessments for adults.

In the case of a child with an injury-related disability, the Support Needs Assessment takes into account how much support and supervision are ordinary parental responsibilities and how much are directly related to the child’s injury.

Find out more about Support Needs Assessments for children and teenagers.

Who provides personal care?

You choose who provides your personal care; it’s a very important decision that also affects the other people you live with.

Personal care can be provided by any, or all, of the following:

  • a whānau/family member
  • someone from a contracted ACC home and community support agency
  • a private individual who provides this service.

If you have complex medical or health needs, your carers will need to have the right skills and training. We can help make sure your carers get any training they need.

Get more information about choosing who’ll provide your personal care.

How do I pay the carer?

Either:

  • we can pay you directly and you then pay your carers from those funds, or
  • you can ask us to pay your carers directly.

In either case, we are legally obliged to take tax off those payments.

Learn more about tax and ACC levies.
 

What if something changes?

Your support needs will change throughout your life. For example, you might:

  • become more able to do things for yourself
  • want to return to work
  • become ill.

A child’s support needs will change as they grow and develop and enter new environments like school.

If your support needs change, talk to your Coordinator. Another Support Needs Assessment to reassess your needs, or those of your child, may be required.

If the assessment recommends different types of support or a change of hours of personal care, your Coordinator is available to talk through the reasons for the change. Changes will be introduced gradually so that you and your care team have time to adjust.