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Disability Action Center NW

Rural Communities Matter

For rural disabled people who receive caregiving services, rural context matters. It’s important service providers learn how rural living and access to in home care-givers intersect.

Our goal is to keep people with disabilities in their own home. It’s easier if they live in a resource-rich community. That means having access to more than just a post office and fire station. You need a local economy that provides both shopping and services and places to work. Education opportunities also add to life¬†enrichment by providing activities to participate in.

Receiving in home care in rural areas is characterized by a mixture of barriers and opportunities. Barriers included transportation time and distance, local worker shortages, and difficulty in finding accessible housing. It’s important to plan on what to do if your usual in home caregiver becomes ill, you need a temporary pool of workers in that situation.

Opportunities include having a tight-knit community and often there is more affordable housing. Neighbors and friends are used to checking in on each other.

The worker characteristics desired by rural consumers include personalization of care, respect both for the consumers dignity and privacy, comfort with the slower pace of life, trustworthiness, and awareness that urgent medical care takes longer than in urban areas.

“One on one good personal care is important. Somone that really cares about you and you can tell that they care!”