Last Home for the Aged

Last Home for the Aged

Last Home for the Aged

Last Home for the Aged

Excerpt

Conventional wisdom has it that long - term care settings profoundly affect older people both psychologically and physically. Life in an institutional setting is assumed to result in severe consequences for the elderly. Yet something other than institutional life itself may account for a portrait that encompasses disorientation, withdrawal, hopelessness, and gross distortions in the content of the self - concept. May it be, we asked ourselves, that much of the portrait is sketched in prior to entering and living in these settings? Also, independent of the setting, is not the very discontinuity of moving from one environment to another particularly onerous for the elderly? If so, then might not explanations other than institutional life itself be equally valid in explaining "institutional" effects?

With these types of questions in mind we began our exploration of effects and their causes during and through the process of becoming institutionalized in what is considered to be the best type of contemporary long-term care institutions -- the sectarian home for the aged. By studying older people who enter the better settings, we were able to isolate irreducible effects of the institutionalization process.

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