If you are new to the world of in home care, you may be wondering what the options are. You’ve likely heard of both self-directed services and home care agencies, but what’s the difference?
Self-Directed Care is centered around the individual, allowing all decisions about care to remain in their control. If the individual is not comfortable or is unable to manage the responsibilities that come with a self-directed approach, they can choose someone to represent them and assist in making their decisions.
Self-Direction promotes personal choice and control over the delivery of services, including who provides the services, what services are provided, and how they are provided. This approach is truly person-centered and includes writing a personal service plan. This plan specifies the care decisions of the individual along with contingencies for when services cannot be provided by the chosen caregiver.
Caregivers in self-directed care can be selected from the individual’s own current network, including family members and friends. The caregivers are paid directly, often using the services of a financial management service.
Financial management services are available to assist individuals in maintaining budget authority throughout care services. These services help participants understand billing and documentation and perform payroll and employer-related duties, along with tracking and monitoring their individual budget, making it easy to self-direct care needs.
Participants are able to hire, train, and supervise their own caregivers ensuring things are done the way they choose. They also have the responsibility of managing their care and services in the planning process.
Although self-directed services are a newer approach to in home care, it is quickly growing. Government programs and assistance for individuals choosing this type of care are continuing to expand across the nation.
Home Care Agency
Home care agencies allow an individual to pay an hourly rate to the agency which employs caregivers. The employees of agencies can assist with anything from everyday activities to activities of daily life. Some agencies provide only certain services, while others provide a wide range.
Once enrolled with a home care agency, individuals will generally have one or two caregivers from the agency assigned to their case. Their caregivers will provide care on a predetermined schedule and may only be available during specific days or times depending on their work schedules. If the agency caregiver is unable to provide care for some reason, a replacement caregiver will likely be sent in their place to provide all necessary supports.
Caregivers contracted through a home care agency will be hired, trained, and supervised by the agency. A personal care plan is created by the agency outlining the services and cost of services the individual will be provided. Participants often have little choice in when or how their supports are completed.
Home care agencies generally provide care within a specific service area and it may be difficult to find these services while living in a rural area.
Although this is an older approach to in home care, many individuals are opting for the newer self-directed services option.
While both self-directed care and home care agencies provide supports in the home, there are many differences to take into consideration when making care decisions.