How Self-Directed Care Impacts Your Quality of Support
Learn why in-home agency care turnover impacts your quality of support
It can be hard to decide which daily and long-term care options are the best fit for you or your loved one. The great news is there is a range of care options available including self-directed home care, home care agencies, day programs, and assisted living institutions. Millions of people use each of these services every day and are very happy with them.
These different care options meet needs in different ways and on different schedules, but if you want greater independence, control, and freedom over schedules and day-to-day living, choose self-direction.
With self-direction, also known as consumer direction or participant direction, you avoid the restrictions, rules, and uncertainty that you can encounter with agency-based or institutional care.
You may be a person faced with making long term care decisions for yourself or your loved one. Or you may be currently using agency based or institutional care and are interested in learning more about self-direction as an option for more choice and independence.
With self-direction, you choose and hire your own care/support workers (and yes, this includes friends and some family who are currently caring for you for free) to help you in your home and community. You choose what to eat and when, when to go to bed and wake-up, can plan day trips and vacations, make decisions about therapies and daily living assistance, and can continue to live in your own home and community.
Gone are the hidden and sometimes overwhelming challenges that come with agency-based/institutional care. You, your family members, and friends are no longer forced to deal with the very real issues of inconsistent care and support, care/support worker turnover and shortages, high costs, and more.
We know you have questions and concerns over what the best choice is. And we want you to make an informed and balanced decision about your care. In our opinion, the more you know about self-direction and agency-based/institutional care – the better.
In this blog we help you better understand how and why self-direction is a win-win and we look at how self-direction benefits everyone involved.
What Challenges do You / Your Loved One Face in Agencies/Institutions?
Agencies have some of the highest turnover rates and that means a new, unfamiliar person coming into your home to help you with your care and support. You need to get to know this person and show them how things work in your home every time, and that gets exhausting. And unfortunately, this means people (like you) receiving care suffer the most with:
- Inconsistent care
- A rotating team of caregivers
- Missed appointments
- Restrictive schedules
- Discomfort with caregivers
- Lack of daily variety and care options
- Poor daily care resulting in illness and injury
- Costly fees for care and support
- Limited or no available care in rural areas
This quote from a recent Home Health Care News article sums up the impacts agency/institution environments have on care/support workers:
“Historically, home care has been an industry plagued by sky-high caregiver turnover rates, a challenge largely attributed to agencies offering low pay, weak benefits and few training opportunities. In fact, the problem came to a head in 2018, with the industry’s turnover rate hitting an all-time high of 82%, according to Home Care Pulse, an Idaho-based market research and education firm.”
How Self-Directed Care Benefits Everyone – You or Your Loved One and Your Care/Support Workers
Self-directed care gives you and your care/support workers freedom, flexibility, confidence, comfort, and control.
Self-direction is an all-around win-win for you, your care/support workers, friends, and family members:
You know your caregivers are there for you and have been personally chosen by you. Because you are the employer, you can hire the right people for you.
Care/Support Workers know you want them caring for you. This helps create a more positive and long-lasting relationship.
- Freedom To Choose
You choose who you hire as your caregiver. This means you can hire friends or some family (depending on your state’s program) who are already caring for you for free.
Care/Support Workers benefit from working for and with a person (you) rather than with the uncertainties that come with an agency.
- More Money
Your money goes further when you do not have to pay for agency overheads and fees. This means you can do and receive more within the same approved budget.
Care/Support Workers in self-direction typically earn higher wages because your care budget is used directly for care services rather than agency overhead.
You can continue to live in your own home and be part of your community, including classes, walks, and events with your care/support worker.
Care/Support Workers have the freedom to be involved in your community without requiring agency approval. This helps to create a more fulfilling and positive work environment.
- Control and Independence
You have control over your daily routine and schedule. Decide when to go bed and wake-up, what you eat and when, when you need support and when you don’t.
Care/Support Workers are not limited by the agency/institution approved services, schedules, or staffing demands. You and your caregiver have the independence to decide what works best for both of you.
- Mutual Respect and Appreciation
You chose your caregiver for who they are.
Care/Support Workers know that you chose them to care for you.
Everyone is there because they want to be – creating a positive environment for you and your caregivers.
- Balanced Lifestyle
You are not restricted by rules, schedules, timelines, and request/approval forms. If you want to visit friends or attend an event – you can do this.
Care/Support Workers know where and when they’re working and who they’re working for. This consistency gives them the opportunity to make plans and live a balanced life.
- Room For Growth
You have the chance to try new things and adjust your care as your needs change.
Care/Support Workers can openly discuss their training and career needs with you. As your needs change, your caregivers can learn new skills, making sure your needs are constantly being met.
- Personalized Care
You know who will be caring for you on a daily/nightly basis. You know the people supporting you know you and your home.
Care/Support Workers know that you know their needs and personality.
This translates to a welcoming and comfortable situation for everyone.
- Stability and Consistency
You know who is helping you and when. This stability and consistency reduces your stress levels and makes it easier for you to live well.
Care/Support Workers benefit from having a consistent employer and known work environment. This limits turnover and translates into better care and support for you.
Self-directed home care benefits you, your loved ones, and your caregivers. Learn how self-direction gives everyone freedom, choice, independence, and consistency.