10 Reasons Why Self-Directed Home Care is the Right Choice for You or Your Loved One

Learn how and why self-direction gives you the best in care and support services.

Self-directed home care for you or your loved one is the ideal way to maintain control over support and care decisions, to continue living at home, and to remain independent.

These key benefits to self-directed care are life-changing for you, your loved one, friends, and family members. Peace of mind over day-to-day activities such as bathing, preparing meals, physical therapy, and any other support is essential to living a happy and healthy life.

We know making decisions about your support or the care of your loved one is not easy.

In this blog we highlight the top 10 reasons why self-directed home care is the right choice for you or you loved one. But we also know, every situation is unique, so please contact us with your questions about self-direction and how our team helps you succeed with self-direction.

Self-directed home care is a service model that empowers participants, usually eligible for Medicaid, with choice and control over the long-term care services and supports needed to live at home.

Self-direction promotes personal choice and control over the delivery of waiver and state plan services, including who provides the services and how services are provided. For example, participants are afforded the decision-making authority to recruit, hire, train and supervise the individuals who furnish their services.” 

Self-Directed Services, Medicaid.gov

Self-directed home care is also called participant direction, self-determination, consumer-direction, or self-direction.

Self-direction gives you care options beyond choosing restrictive long-term institutional care or using home-care agencies who offer little to no choice or control over support workers and services.

Young female participant hugging and kissing her mother while sitting on the couch
Self-directed home care working well for the Greens

Our goal is to give you the facts, information, and resources you need to make decisions about your care. This list of 10 reasons highlights how self-direction helps you or your loved one.

  1. Live in your own home and community.
    There really is no place like home. It’s where you’re most comfortable and happy. Self-directed home care mean you get the care and support you need in your own home. You can take part in your community and benefit from your local support systems.
  2. Flexible and personal support.
    Working with your case manager, you decide the what, when, where, why, and how of your care and support services. Be confident your voice is being heard and respected. Self-direction is all about tailoring care and support to individual needs. And if your needs change over time, self-direction gives you the freedom to adjust your care as required.
  3. Creative and customized support services.
    You’re only limited by your ideas and desires. For example, your care program may include volunteering in your community, attending classes and training on new skills, or participating in exercise groups or local sport programs and clubs.
    To ensure you get the most from self-directed home care, customization is essential. You can even choose to incorporate specific day-care options into your day-to-day. You may be too busy or not interested in cooking – no problem, you can choose to pay your care/support worker to cook for you or pay for a home-delivery meal service.
    Self-direction ensures you and your case manager work together to develop your plan of care.
  4. You choose your care/support worker.
    You decide who helps you and delivers the services you require. Be confident you know and trust the people coming into your home to support you. Depending on where you live, you can hire your relatives or friends to do this.
    Hire people who you can easily relate to, have similar interests as you, and share your culture. For example, your 20-year old son loves music and you want to do all you can to support his interests. With self-direction you can hire a support worker who shares this same passion for music and is of a similar age.
  5. Control and decision-making powers.
    There is nothing worse than feeling powerless when your support needs are not being met. Because you hire and pay your care/support workers – you have ultimate control. You are the boss. This makes it easier for your care/support workers as well – they know they’ll be paid on-time and correctly by you.
Female care worker sitting on couch and smiling at camera
Caring for her daughter through self-direction works well for the Coulson’s
  1. No limits on support access in rural areas.
    Wherever you live, know you can and will receive consistent and reliable support. You are not limited by your ZIP code. Big city or small town, it doesn’t matter – your needs are met. You hire people in your community (potentially family or friends), so you know you have direct access to care and support at all times.
  2. Cost-effective value for your money.
    When you choose self-directed home care, you’re given a care budget. It is up to you how you spend this budget (with restrictions). You have the freedom to choose and pay for the support and services that benefit you the most.
    There is no wasted money, time, or effort spent on care, services, or people who do not meet your needs. As an extra bonus, with self-direction, you don’t need to pay for agency or institution overhead or surcharges.
  3. Happier care/support workers.
    Whether you hire friends/family or other people to help you, know these people also have flexibility, choice, creativity, and control. Your care/support workers know you and what you need – they’re not limited by agency or institution restrictions, schedules, or service access.
    Know your money is going directly to your care/support workers – you’re not paying for agency fees.
  4. Better quality of life for you, your family, and friends.
    When your needs are taken care of, your family and friends benefit. The stress and worry over your day-to-day and long-term needs are lessened and, in many instances, gone.
    Even better, with self-direction, there are fewer hospital stays and lower rates of nursing home use. Your family and friends can visit you easily, be involved in your care, and stay updated at all times with how you’re doing.
  5. Self-direction gives you power over your support. Your needs.
    You know what you need. Whether you’re a parent of child who needs care, a daughter/son of a parent who needs care, a veteran, or living with chronic health issues or disabilities – self-direction fits your needs.
    With self-direction, you’re not forced into the limits and restrictions of institutions or home-care agencies. You choose when and what you eat, what your day-to-day looks like, and who you hire as your care/support worker.
    Self-direction has revolutionized the way people on Medicaid receive care. It doesn’t matter where you live, what your health needs are, or your age – self-directed home care is for you.
Care worker helping two elderly female participants settle into car
Miss Peggy and Ginger utilizing self-directed home care to live their best life

Please remember to check your state rules for any restrictions on hiring certain family members. Contact us with your questions about your state rules – we are here to help.

Use these resources to learn more about self-directed home care:

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