Does Self-directed Long-Term Care Make Sense to You?

By John F. Wasik, Next Avenue Contributor

“Think of how much energy it takes to take care of yourself,” says Katy Votava, a nurse practitioner and president of Goodcare, a consulting firm specializing in the economics of health care. “And people don’t know how to shop and be an advocate for themselves.”

When Kathleen Ujvari sought long-term care for her disabled 83-year-old father, she knew that “he would not think of how to do it on his own.” Many retired Americans who have disabilities simply can’t fathom what they need to do to take care of themselves.

Like many caring for parents, though, Ujvari knew there were multiple options available. In her role as a long-term care researcher for the AARP Public Policy Institute, she’s been examining how older Americans can “self-direct” their own care, choosing from an array of options that can be provided at home.

Innovative Approaches, Person-Centered Choices

Along with Merle Edwards-Orr, a senior consultant with Applied Self Direction (a long-term care consulting firm), Ujvari found that several states are using innovative strategies to provide long-term care at home. They involve offering “person-centered” choices to those being supported by Medicaid. Every state has these programs, although they vary in quality and scope.  -read more-