Self-Directed Services: What they are and why I support them.

What are Self-Directed Services?

These are services based on the belief that the person with the disability should be empowered to make decisions about the services they receive and the individuals who provide them. This includes having choice and control over the type of support services they receive and the who, what, when and where of service delivery. Self-Directed Services emphasize that it is the individual, as opposed to medical and social work professionals, who best know about his/her needs and how to address them. These are services where the individual decides how, when, and what he/she needs to assist himself/herself to be more functional in day-to-day living and enable himself/herself to be more independent and less reliant upon others.

When exercising self-direction, participants take responsibility for their own well-being and determine how public dollars are used in their behalf. Sometimes they participate in the cost of goods, supports and services to meet their own needs with a small monthly contribution of their own dollars as they are able. Participants are in control and are accountable to the public through adherence to guidelines for categories of expenditures.

Why do I support the concept of Self-Directed services? 

I believe that people who receive public paid services should have the right to

-          determine what their needs are,

-          direct services that meet their needs, and

-          choose how those services that meet their needs are delivered. 

I believe that hard working people and their families are often sensitive to sacrifices of taxpayers and to the unwanted legacy of public debt. These same people may need care and supports provided by public tax payer dollars because of age, disability and/or unfortunate circumstances.  

And if left to their own determination, they may be able to devise goods, supports and services to meet their basic needs at lower cost than traditional case-managed services. Also, giving people the option to direct their own services can build self-confidence and provide a level of empowerment.

Who is best at deciding what I need and how to take care of me: My Government or myself?

The Government takes our hard fought dollars from us through taxation and then sends those dollars back to us and our neighbors by paying for public services. Often, we do not feel that we are better off when the Government decides for us, on our behalf, how, when, and what we need and what those public services should be; particularly when those public services are delivered inside our own homes. This is why Self-Directed Services are so important. I am proud to live, work and pay tax in Washington! Our great state, known for it’s forward thinking in Long Term Care, is offering our most vulnerable citizens the opportunity to empower themselves by making these decisions and we should be grateful.

Please check out our New Freedom web page for more information on this great program.

Thank you for your time.

Sue Closser, President
Sunrise Services, Inc.