Consumer Voice and Choice in Long-Term Care

By Suzanne R. Kunkel; Valerie Wellin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
Common or Uncommon
Agendas:
Consumer Direction in the Aging and
Disability Movements

Robyn I. Stone


INTRODUCTION

Over the past decade, consumer direction in long-term care has received increasing attention by the consumer, practice, and policy communities. A number of factors, including aggressive advocacy by younger people with disabilities, a growing consumer movement in health and long-term care, concerns about the costs of services, and a severe worker shortage, have all contributed to this heightened interest in consumer direction (Stone, 2000).

This chapter addresses the issues related to consumer direction in the aging and disability movements. It begins by defining this concept, highlighting the pivotal role of choice and empowerment, and describing the range of options under the rubric of consumer direction. This is followed by a brief history of the evolution of consumer direction, underscoring the key role of several disability movements and the transfer of this philosophy to the aging services community. The next section identifies the merits and challenges of consumer direction and how these differentially affect various subgroups of people with disabilities. The chapter concludes with some thoughts on the future of consumer direction.

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