Self Determination and Self-Directed Supports

Although many people use the terms self-determination and self-directed supports to mean the same thing, they actually mean two different things.

Self-determination is the broader term, and is based on the five core principles of Freedom, Authority, Support, Responsibility, and Confirmation. These principles focus on the rights of all individuals to decide how to live their own lives, to have authority over their funding, to have support to organize their resources, to be responsible for the wise use of public resources, and to have the ability to play important roles in their communities if they choose to do so.

Self-directed supports are a part of self-determination. This term refers to a wide range of approaches designed to maximize choice and control for people who use long-term care services and supports. People self-directing their supports and services use a combination of natural supports and paid services to meet their long-term care needs and personal goals. They work within a budget and arrange supports in ways that meet their needs.