Last month The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care released a new guide book to help people with questions about long-term care services navigate the system and better advocate for themselves. The new tool, Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care: A Consumer’s Guide to Choices and Advocacy, is designed to educate people with disabilities and older adults about their options for long-term services.
The guide book fully embraces the philosophy of person-centered or person-directed care, which means you are the one directing or guiding the services you receive, when you receive them and how you receive them. By educating consumers about their options and choices, the guide empowers individuals to make decisions for themselves rather than relying on professionals or family members. The concept of person-directed care is at the heart of “culture change,” a movement to provide older adults services in a way that values choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living.
The Consumer Voice has developed a website (www.theconsumervoice.org/piecing-together-quality-long-term-care) for the guide, which features Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care in different formats, including an HTML version, a PDF version and audio portions of the guide. The website will also include three state-specific guides funded by the Consumer Voice and written by citizen advocacy groups in Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia. These state guides are designed to assist older adults and persons with disabilities in making informed decisions when choosing long-term care services. A hardcopy of the 80-page, professional bound guide is available for $20 and can be purchased online.
“While older adults and individuals with disabilities may have different needs, they all deserve a choice of quality long-term care services,” said Consumer Voice Executive Director Sarah F. Wells. “Many consumers face the daunting and overwhelming task of trying to navigate a long-term care system that is fragmented and complicated. This project aims to build a bridge between the aging and the disability communities and create a strong, unified long-term care consumer voice.”