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Consumer-Directed Personal Care Services for Older People in the U.S.

For people of all ages with disabilities, retaining control over their lives is a major concern. Consumer direction is a service model that allows consumers to assess their needs for personal care, determine how and by whom these needs should be met, and monitor their services. In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Brief, Barbara Coleman describes consumer-direction models and reviews several surveys of the attitudes of older consumers in the U.S. toward consumer-directed personal care services for recipients of publicly funded services. The paper describes the range and evolution of consumer directed services programs in four states (Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and California) and one cross-state demonstration program (Arkansas, New Jersey, and Florida) to highlight how such programs function. (16 pages)

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