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Consumer-Directed Services for Older People

In recent years, participants in some publicly funded home care programs for people with disabilities in the United States and several European countries (among them, Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands) have been allowed to direct their own services and hire and manage the workers who provide them. Researchers report a high level of interest in the Consumer Direction (CD) concept among older persons, and considerable satisfaction among older participants with the autonomy, control, and choice that these programs allow. In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Brief, Barbara Coleman reviews surveys of older persons' preferences for CD services, and reports on the opinions of administrators about this issue. The paper also covers a study of a California program that includes many older participants, and the early results from demonstration programs in Arkansas and New Jersey. (16 pages)

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