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Consumer Directed Services (CDS)

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In Missouri, 29% of adults have some form of disability. That means that if you’re among the majority who don’t have any disabilities yourself then your family member or loved one could be disabled! And as our population ages there will likely continue to be more and more people in need for assistance with daily activities like shopping, personal hygiene, housekeeping and more.

You and your family members may be eligible for Consumer Directed Services (CDS), a program through the Missouri State Medicaid that helps adults with physical disabilities take control of their own home care needs.

The benefits include personal assistants that can assist with dressing/undressing, as well grocery shopping, cooking meals, etc., thus freeing up caregivers time. This will provide greater quality-of-life while they’re safe at home, instead of being institutionalized due to declining health conditions.

What is Consumer Directed Services (CDS)?

Consumer Directed Services (CDS) is a program in Missouri that provides home care services for people with physical disabilities. The PCAs (Personal Care Attendants) help care-recipients live in their own homes, instead of an institution or facility where they would be more restricted. The PCAs (Personal Care Attendants) provides care services in their own home, allowing them more freedom and independence than they would have if confined inside an institution or nursing home setting.

CDS offers many benefits including increased self-esteem as well as less institutionalization which leads directly onto better quality of life for all involved!

What are self-directed services?

The concept of consumer directed services is to let the client (care recipient) be in charge when it comes to their need for assistance. They know best what they can do on their own, with CDS giving them a way hire caregivers who will suit specific needs–and because Medicaid funds these programs there’s no worry about additional medical bills!

What are the benefits of Consumer Directed Services (CDS)?

When someone is disabled, it can be hard for them to live on their own in the outside world. They might not want go into a nursing home and leave all of those people they know close by; but what if there was an alternative? The Missouri CDS program offers this comfort with personalized services that allow residents stay where they are most comfortable- at home!

Receiving care from strangers can be a challenging experience. CDS provides care-receivers with the opportunity to receive caregiving services in their own home through friends or family members of their choice.

Having a personal care assistant will help you live life on your own terms. You can continue working, going to school or pursuing hobbies and passions that otherwise might be out of reach due the limitations imposed by being disabled.

A personal care assistant can do things for you that your other family members might not be able to, such as getting groceries and making dinner. They also take the place of someone doing light housework or taking out trash so a lot more time gets spent enjoying life instead of cleaning up after it.

The caregiver income opportunity is perfect for those that have friends and family members requiring assistance. Caring can be rewarding, as you earn money while providing care! The extra cash could also help with college tuition costs or retirement savings.

Consumer Directed Services (CDS) in Missouri by Home Care MO

The full scope of services that CDS offers is non-medical.

This means they can help with tasks you’ve had to give up because of your disability, or those things which take too long when completed alone. They also provide assistance with activities like cooking meals and doing laundry.

As part of the Missouri CDS program, you’ll be expected to hire and train your own caregiver.

In order to care for you, your personal assistant will need a diverse skill set. They’ll be responsible in performing tasks like cooking meals and doing laundry while offering guidance when necessary on how best to handle certain aspects of life that come up as well as knowing about any limitations imposed by disabilities or living arrangements.

This program provides consumer-directed personal care assistance that is non-medical in nature, in the home of eligible applicants. Assistance with a variety of ADLs and IADLs is central to this program. It may include help with the following:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Toiletry
  • Mobility
  • Medication management
  • Light housecleaning
  • Laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Shopping for essential items


Transportation that is essential, such as for medical appointments and shopping for groceries is also a program benefit.

Our in-home care services aim to offer home care to every individual in the comfort of their own home. Learn about all of our services. 

Home Care MO is different. We are a forward thinking compassionate group of caregivers backed by technology that helps monitor and care for your loved one 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Consumer Directed Services (CDS) in Missouri by Home Care MO

How does Consumer Directed Services (CDS) work?

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be Missouri residents who are 18 years of age or older, and are able and willing to direct their own care. They must be physically disabled, and unable to perform daily routine activities, such as bathing oneself, dressing, and preparing meals. And they must require the level of care that is provided in a nursing home. Also, they must currently be enrolled in MO HealthNet.


Who is eligible for MO HealthNet?

Eligibility for MO HealthNet depends on your income, age, health, and individual needs. You may be eligible if you are a(n):

  • Senior (age 65 and older)
  • Parent or caretaker with a child (under age 19)
  • Child (age birth -18)
  • Woman (age 18-55) with no health insurance
  • Adult (age 19-64) without disabilities
  • Pregnant woman (including unborn child)
  • Woman (under age 65) with breast or cervical cancer
  • Person with disabilities
  • Blind or visually impaired adult

How to apply for Consumer Directed Services (CDS)?

There are four ways you can apply for healthcare coverage:

Are you ready to start your consumer directed services? Or would like to try Remote Patient Monitoring? 

Am I eligible for the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Program?

Health needs requirements

While this program is not limited to the elderly, it does assist seniors who are unable to perform routine daily activities, due to illness, such as cancer and kidney failure. (Those with Alzheimer’s and other similar dementias are, unfortunately, not eligible for this program.)

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • Be a Missouri resident above the age of 18 years.
  • Have a physical disability that makes you unable to perform Activities of Daily Living.
  • Require the level of care that might be provided at a nursing home.
  • Be able to direct your caregiver and train them according to your needs.

You do not have to be a senior to qualify for CDS, although many program participants happen to fall in the elderly category.

What are the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

The Activities of Daily Living are a series of basic activities necessary for independent living at home or in the community. They are performed on a daily basis. There are many variations on the definition of the ADLs, but most organizations agree there are 5 basic categories.

  1. Personal hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care.
  2. Dressing – being able to make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress and undress oneself.
  3. Eating – the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food.
  4. Maintaining continence – being able to mentally and physically use a restroom. This includes the ability to get on and off the toilet and cleaning oneself.
  5. Transferring/Mobility– being able to stand from a sitting position, as well as get in and out of bed. The ability to walk independently from one location to another.

The level of independence is based on whether someone can perform these activities on their own or they need help from a family caregiver.

What are the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are similar to ADLs. These actions are important to being able to live independently, but are not necessarily required on a daily basis. The Instrumental Activities are not as noticeable as the Activities of Daily Living when it comes to loss of functioning. But functional ability for IADLs is generally lost before ADLs. IADLs can help better determine the level of assistance needed by an elderly or disabled person. The IADLs include:

  1. Basic communication skills – such as using a regular phone, mobile phone, email, or the internet.
  2. Transportation – either by driving oneself, arranging rides, or the ability to use public transportation.
  3. Meal preparation – meal planning, cooking, clean up, storage, and the ability to safely use kitchen equipment and utensils.
  4. Shopping – the ability to make appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions.
  5. Housework – doing laundry, washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, and maintaining a clean place of residence.
  6. Managing medications – taking the correct amount of medication at the correct time. Managing re-fills, and avoiding conflicts.
  7. Managing personal finances – operating within a budget, writing checks, paying bills, and avoiding scams

Your son, daughter, grandchild, relative, friend or existing home attendant — anyone except your
• Legal spouse
• Parent (if you are under 21).

Yes, as long as she has Medicaid and lives in the one of the following counties;

Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste Genevieve, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, and Washington County

Only if he is over 21 years of age. Parents cannot be caregivers for children under 21.

No — not if you are his legal spouse. Legal spouses cannot serve as caregivers for each
other in this program.

Yes, as long as they have Medicaid and lives in the one of the following counties;

Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste Genevieve, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, and Washington County

Yes, as long as she has Medicaid and lives in the one of the following counties;

Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste Genevieve, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, and Washington County

Yes! You can be a caregiver if you are 18 years or older.

Yes, as long as you have valid work authorization.

Yes! Consumers and caregivers can reside in the same home.

No, if you are your mother’s POA, you cannot be her caregiver through CDS.

YES. This program is ONLY for Medicaid recipients, without exception. Medicare is not enough.

Only if she has Medicaid too (Medicare is NOT enough).

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a low income. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65 and older or have a severe disability, no matter your income.

Yes! As long as you have Medicaid, you are eligible to apply.

No. You need Medicaid.


If you pay your Medicaid spend-down each month, you can join the program.

An agency caregiver is hired and employed by a home care agency. A CDS caregiver is hired by the patient themselves – and they are generally a family member or friend of the patient.

At Home Care MO, we can help you hire an aide through the CDS program.
If you…
– are not eligible for the CDS program
– don’t have a family member/friend who can care for you
– prefer to hire an aide through our home care agency,
we can help you too: call us now at (646)-574-1856

If you need help with activities of daily living —  like shopping, cleaning, bathing, and grooming — there’s a good chance you’re eligible. A Medicaid nurse and/or a nurse from your plan will visit you at home to determine (a) if you’re eligible and (b) how many weekly hours of care you can get.

No. If a person has Medicaid and needs care, they can qualify.

Providing exceptional Consumer Directed Services for seniors and families in St. Louis City, St. Louis, Franklin, St. Charles, Warren, Crawford, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, Pike, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, and Washington Counties.

Home Care MO was established by veteran home care agency owners. Home Care MO is a home care agency that works with Missouri’s Consumer Directed Services (CDS) program. CDS is a Medicaid-funded program that enables you to hire the person of your choice to help with your care.  This caregiver is also called a personal care attendant (PCA).  

They can be a friend, neighbor or family member, but cannot be a spouse. Your caregiver should be someone you trust, who will give you quality, compassionate care. Your chosen PCA can help you clean, cook, bathe, dress, run errands and take you to appointments. Home Care MO pays the highest wages for Consumer Directed Services in Missouri. When you sign up through Home Care MO caregivers will earn $12 per hour.

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