The Power of Self-Directed Home Care

Why Choose Self-Directed Home Care?

Choosing between self-directed home care and provider-directed care can be challenging. After all, finding home care can be a stressful process, particularly after a fall, surgery, or another incident.

During these times, families must find and agree on a solution — fast. It’s not uncommon for nerves to be on edge, which could lead to more stress.

You could receive help from outplacement counselors at hospitals and rehabilitation centers, but they often carry a large workload. As a result, they may not have the time to truly listen to your loved one’s needs and preferences or offer various options for care.

In fact, many hospitals own homecare companies of their own or only work with a few preferred home care partners. That’s because for many organizations, directing patients to the same care agencies is easier and in their financial interest.


man talking to a doctor


Unfortunately, that leaves you and your family with fewer (and more expensive) options to choose from. For example, when my eighty-four-year-old father had cardiac bypass surgery, the hospital gave him the name of a visiting nurse association to call for home care. He called the number and arranged for the services he needed.

My father was very unhappy with the care he received. Only then did it occur to him that he might have the choice of in-home health care. He called his insurance company and discovered that, yes, he didn’t have to use that company and could choose a more preferable provider.


Problems With Provider-Directed Home Care

First, traditional home care agencies can be costly. When insurance doesn’t cover the whole bill, it becomes very problematic. Sadly, families can quickly run out of money to pay for the care their loved one needs.

Second, some people want more choice and control over their own care. They want to choose their individual caregivers and decide what level of care and services they need. Besides that, they want to manage how and when they receive care. Doing so allows them to feel more in control and ensures that their individual preferences and needs will be met.


The Power of Self-Directed Home Care

Self-direction gives seniors and people with disabilities the power to choose to stay at home. They have the power to decide what care they need. Self-directed home care allows them to select, hire, manage, and fire their caregivers or service providers as they see fit.

Having more choice in their care helps elders feel more in control and ensures that their individual preferences and needs are met.


young man sitting on couch with grandfather


Consumers receiving services through Medicaid (MassHealth) or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs Home Care program have the right to self-direction. The Commonwealth pays for services to help individuals set up as employers, obtain worker compensation insurance, and handle payroll for the hours of care paid through the program.

If you are looking to reduce the cost of home care or prefer to find, hire, and manage your own caregivers and their schedules, self-directed home care may be the right option. Be sure to ask about your options and know your rights.

For more information, contact your Aging Services Access Point at 1-800-AGEINFO (1-800-243-4636) or visit



For more information, contact Meetcaregivers at 1-888-541-1136 or info@

For additional resources and to learn more about caregiving, read our Blog.

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