Information and Options Counseling
A Home and Community Care Block Grant Service
The Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, called for the provision of Information and Assistance (I & A) services. The provision of I & A for older persons and their families includes:
- Assessing and evaluating the individual's needs
- Informing and educating the individual about programs and services available across the long-term care continuum
- Referring and/or directly connecting the individual to appropriate resources
- Providing assistance to negotiate the service delivery system
- Working with long distance caregivers in identifying and locating needed services
- Advocating on behalf of the individual or a group to obtain change in the delivery or availability of services
Effective July 1, 2014, the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services added an Options Counseling component to the Information and Assistance service, and the name of the service was changed to Information and Options Counseling (I & OC). The I & OC service includes Information, Assistance and Options Counseling.
Options Counseling is an interactive, decision-support process. It is a person-centered approach that is directed by the individual. The main purpose is to help individuals identify and understand their long term services and support needs and from there, develop a plan for meeting those needs. Options Counseling includes:
- Listening to the individual express his/her preferences, values, service needs, and circumstances
- Engaging in conversation for a joint exchange of information and possible options that are tailored around the stated needs and preferences
- Providing support that leads the individual to make informed decisions about long-term services and supports
- Assisting the individual in making an action plan
- Connecting the individual, when it is his/her choice, to public/private services and/or informal supports
- Following-up with the individual with the ultimate goal to support the individual to live in his/her community of choice
A certified Options Counselor helps the individual: 1) identify goals and preferences, 2) consider a range of possibilities, 3) weigh the pros and cons of long-term services and supports options, and 4) plan for future needs.
Contact Jan Moxley at the Division with questions concerning Information and Options Counseling.