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Many people with disabilities in the District are locked away in nursing homes because of their need for basic attendant care services to help them with tasks such as getting out of bed, transferring into and out of wheelchairs, bathing and dressing, and with chores such as cleaning and meal preparation.

DIRECT Action’s organizers learned in 1999 that the District has a disproportionate number of people under age 65 in nursing homes, and so began advocacy efforts for Medicaid reform with District officials to promote quality, reliable community-based alternatives to nursing homes, support consumer direction of their care, and to eliminate the institutional bias in the DC Medicaid program.

DIRECT Action is building on this effort by arming consumers, who choose to stay in the community and out of nursing homes, with the advocacy tools they need to work together to push for systemic reform of the Medicaid program. We are actively doing outreach in the nursing homes to tell residents about alternative community-based living options, and how to seek accessible housing and services.

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