What it is: Flexible care is defined under the Aged Care Act 1997 (sec 49.3) as the provision of any care provided in a residential or community setting by an approved aged care service that addresses care needs in alternative ways to the care provided by residential care or home care packages. There are currently five types of flexible care provided under the Aged Care Act:
Transition care - provides up to 12 weeks care and rehabilitation for older people following discharge from a hospital. The aim is to support the person to stay at home rather than prematurely enter residential care.
Short-Term Restorative Care Program - similar to the transition program in terms of goals but available for older people who have experienced various types of functional decline. It is designed to reverse of slow functional decline through application of a wellness and reablement approach.
Multi-Purpose Services Program - addresses the needs of small regional and remote communities by pooling the funding and integrating the health and aged care services where stand-alone services are not viable.
National and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program – this is mainly funded in rural and remote areas and designed to provide culturally appropriate residential and aged care services close to aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.
Innovative Care Program - funds the development and testing of innovative and flexible care models not addressed by main stream services. There was only a small number of such pilot programs funded, the last commencing in 2004, however a decision was taken to continue funding the services as long as the, then, existing, participants remain in the pilot’ services. As at June 2018 there remained only nine operational services under this program with a total of 54 operational places.
In the period 2017- 2018, approximately 31,235 people received some form of flexible aged care in Australia. 
Page created 20 June 2019
- Mavromaras K, Knight G, Isherwood L, Crettenden A, Flavel J, Moskos M, et al. 2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey - The Aged Care Workforce, 2016 (24.06MB pdf). Canberra: Department of Health; 2017 Mar.