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An ordinary house on an ordinary street : a community-based alternative model for housing the aged in South Africa

By Gaetano Anthony Mercorio

Abstract

Bibliography: leaves 111-119.This study proposes an alternative model for housing and caring for the aged, without admitting them to the care of total institutions. Ordinary houses on ordinary streets are converted into neighbourhood old age homes in which a small number of elderly people live together. The home may be sponsored by any body, and, other than the cost of purchasing the house and furniture, it can be financially self-sufficient. The study seeks to examine the difficulty of defining old age, the phenomenon of ageing populations and discrimination against the aged. It provides a brief history of old age homes. Issues in the care of the elderly are discussed, including the role of the state and the individual, and categories of the aged and housing for these groups. Some major controversies in the field, notably the question of age-segregated or age-integrated housing, institutional versus community care and the dangers of moving the aged, are described. The study analyses the South African system of care for the elderly, and highlights the problem of the present focus on expensive institutional care. The suitability of this model of care is questioned and it is recommended that the small neighbourhood old age home model be introduced to broaden the existing continuum of care. The Abbeyfield Society of Great Britain, which pioneered this model of housing and caring for the elderly is described. The model is examined in detail. Finally, the study explores the work of the Catholic Welfare Bureau in Cape Town, which has implemented and adapted this model in South Africa. This agency's network of neighbourhood old age homes will be extended to include care for the frail aged, and the basis of its planning proposed for this phase is examined

Topics: Social Planning and Social Administration
Publisher: Department of Social Development
Year: 1987
OAI identifier: oai:open.uct.ac.za:11427/14279

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