As a Lakeland Care member, you can choose to direct most of your services on your own. This option is known as “Self-Directed Supports” or SDS. This is a way for you to arrange, purchase and manage most of your long-term services, with greater responsibility and control. With the SDS option, you still have a care manager and nurse from Lakeland Care as resources. For the services in your service plan you choose to self-direct, a budget is established. If this option fits your life, then you can decide:

  • What services you want to self-direct.
  • What assistance and resources you need to participate in SDS the way you would like.
  • Who you want to provide your services and supports. If you like, you can hire, train and supervise your care workers.
  • How much control you want in managing your own budget and working with others to pay your providers.
  • If you want your family, friends and others to help you with participating in SDS.
  • When you want back-up support from your care team.


Though frequently used for in-home care such as bathing and dressing, housekeeping, and meal preparation, SDS can also be used for other services such as transportation, job coaching, and respite care. Your care team can tell you which services can be self-directed in Family Care.


You can choose how much you want to participate in SDS. It is not an “all or none” approach. You can choose to direct one or more of your services.


If you choose SDS, your care team will meet with you to:


1. Create a Plan Specific to Your Needs

With the help of your care team, you can determine what supports you need and develop a Job Description for your SDS employees.


2. Decide How You Want to Participate in SDS

With the help of your care team, you can decide what training or resources you need to carry out your SDS plan.


3. Develop a Budget

With the help of your care team, you can create your budget based on the level of care needed to support your long-term care outcomes.


4. Select and Hire Supports

You decide how, when and who provides support to you, while receiving assistance from an agency in hiring and paying your SDS employees.


Help to Manage Your Budget and Supports

When you direct your own supports, you will have the help of an agency that provides Financial Management Services. Lakeland Care works the Fiscal/Employer Agent to help you manage your budget and supports. Under the Fiscal/Employer Agent option, you are considered the legal employer of your SDS employee. You would be responsible for finding, hiring, training, supervising and terminating your SDS employees.


If you decide that SDS is not for you, you can stop participating at any time. Your care team will then assist you by identifying Lakeland Care -contracted providers available to support your long-term care outcomes.