What is Self-Direction?

What is Self-Direction?

For some people, self-direction may be a new term.  In IRIS, self-direction means that people have choice and control over the care and support they need to meet their program goals. This includes who provides services and how services are provided. 

People self-directing their supports and services may use a combination of natural supports and paid services to meet their long-term care needs and personal goals. They work within a budgeted amount of funding and plan for supports in ways that meet their needs.

Below are six central themes to living a self-directed life.  Think about your choices and preferences in each of these themes. Your TMG IRIS Consultant will work to understand your priorities about these topics when you spend time together and build your IRIS plan.

Important Relationships

  • Who are the important people in your life?
  • Who do you enjoy being with?
  • What is your number one goal for your important relationships?
  • Would you like to spend more time visiting with friends and family?
  • Would you like to find new people to visit with?

Working and Volunteering

  • How do you spend your day?
  • Do you want to find a job, start your own business or start volunteering?
  • If you are working or volunteering now, are you happy with your current job?
  • What kinds of things are you interested in doing?

Being Part of Your Community

  • What kinds of things do you enjoy in your community?
  • Are you involved with any groups?
  • How often do you get together with people or groups?
  • In what other ways do you contribute to your community?
  • How do you want to be involved in your community?
  • Is there anything you always wished you had more time to do in your community or you thought looked interesting, “if only…?”

A Place of Your Own

  • What is your most important goal regarding living in your own place?
  • Did you choose whom you live with?
  • Who decides who comes in and out of your home?
  • Who decides about when and what you eat?
  • Do you want to live somewhere else?
  • If you could change something about where you live, what would it be?
  • What are things about where you live that you want to stay the same?


  • How do you get around when you need to go places?
  • Can you go out when you want to?
  • Can you go places at night or on the weekends?
  • How do you schedule your transportation?
  • What is your most important transportation goal?

Health and Safety

  • What is your most important health and safety goal?
  • Do you have a primary care doctor you like or need help to find one