What is it?
Shared Decision Making (SDM) is a collaborative, patient-directed decision making process that helps Veterans, together with their family caregivers and health care team, set goals and priorities, and make choices that meet patient needs while honoring patient values and preferences. Shared Decision Making is an effective approach for making difficult decisions such as planning for long term care.
Why it Works
Shared Decision Making is perfect for making decisions about long term services and supports!
- It informs you about ALL the long term care services and supports and how to pay for them.
- It supports the use of home and community based services that keep you independent.
- It involves your family caregiver, or other support person, in the decision making process.
- It helps your care team understand your needs and preferences.
- It empowers you to make choices.
Remember the goal of Shared Decision Making is for you to get the services and supports that best meet your long term care needs and preferences. You can use more than one service at a time. And you can change the mix of services and supports you receive as your needs and preferences change.
Contact Your Social Worker
Shared decision making for long term services and supports involves:
- Your family caregiver or other support person,
- Your social worker,
- And your care team.
Your Social Worker or Care Coordinator can Help!
They can help you:
- Learn about and discuss your needs, preferences and options using the Shared Decision Making Worksheet and the Caregiver Self-Assessment.
- Involve your caregiver or family support person and medical team in your decision making process.
- Stay in your own home with long term services and supports from VA and community agencies.
- Locate an assisted living facility, foster home, or nursing home.
- Apply for benefits from VA, Social Security, and other government and community programs.
Contact a Social Worker
- Contact the clinic where you receive primary care and ask for an appointment with a social worker.
Not enrolled in VA healthcare? Click the link below to find the closest VA facility and then call that facility as ask to be connected to a social worker.
Complete this Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you think about long term care services and settings that best meet your needs and preferences.
- Use the Guide to Long Term Care to find out more about: Home and Community Based Services, Residential Settings, and Nursing Homes.
Use what you learn to:
- Discuss your needs and preferences with your caregiver or other family or friends who support you.
- Talk with your physician and health care team about how your medical conditions affect your ability to carry out everyday activities.
- Work with your social worker, nurse care manager or discharge planner to make choices about long term services and supports. They have specific information about VA and community services and supports in your area.
Self-Assessment Worksheet (for Caregivers)
Complete this Self-Assessment Worksheet to assess your caregiver role and responsibilities and to evaluate your stress.
Use what you learn from the Worksheet to:
- Think about the benefits and challenges of being a caregiver.
- Talk with your Veteran about your own needs and what you can and can’t do to help.
- Use the Locate Services & Resources section of the Guide to Long Term Care to explore well-being options.
- Talk with the social worker or discharge planner about how to manage your own well-being in addition to making choices about long term services and supports that are best for the Veteran you help.