Consumer Directed Service (Home Care Independence)
Consumer Directed Service is a term that implies both a method of service delivery as well as a basic direct service. It is an appropriate way for someone who has the capacity to control and direct the activities of someone else to meet their care to be able to remain independent in their home setting. The person is able to choose the individual who will help them meet home management and personal care needs. and negotiates the rate of pay as well as the day and time when they want the help provided. The program enables a person to exercise choice about who will help them for a negotiated rate of pay, what they want the person to do, and how and when they want the help to be provided. Program participants make independent decisions about their care and accept responsibility for their choices regarding the care including the quality of their care. It means taking back or maintaining charge of their life even though they may be dealing with illness, age, or chronic disabilities.
Care Advisors work with persons who are interested in Consumer Directed Service to help them determine their capacity to direct the activities of a caregiver of their choosing. If the person elects to participate in this service and approach to service, the payroll activities for their chosen caregiver will be handled by a payroll firm under contract with the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Enabling program participants to function well as employers of their individual caregivers is a joint function of both the Care Advisor who works for the local agency that makes Consumer Directed Service available and staff of the payroll firm. Both are available to the program participants to offer advice, information, and encouragement to them as they work with their caregivers.
Currently the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), in concert with Area Agencies on Aging, has developed Consumer Directed Services in a limited number of local provider agencies. Efforts to encourage the development of consumer directed service programs are an on-going function of the DAAS and Area Agencies on Aging. For the purpose of distinguishing the DAAS program from other consumer directed programs in North Carolina, the program is titled Home Care Independence. Funding for the programs has come from Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG) funds and local matching funds. No additional revenue sources are available to the counties from DAAS for the development of Consumer Directed Service programs at this time. County Planning Committees determine what services will be offered and funded with annual HCCBG allocations.
For information regarding current Consumer Directed Service programs, contact Mary Jo Littlewood or Mark Hensley of the DAAS staff.
March 7, 2013