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ERIC Number: ED179743
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Nov
Alternatives to Institutionalization. Extension Studies 72.
Riddick, Carol Cutler
The process called deinstitutionalization, whether of the elderly or mentally disabled, involves complex issues, not the least of which are economic, physical, social, and psychological costs; any attempt to further this process perforce needs a comprehensive, specific plan suited to community needs and to those who are to be served. A workable plan should address the twin "how's" of deinstitutionalization and service delivery, with provision for supportive services to ease the transition to community life. Such services, to meet the mentally disabled's need for emotional support and the elderly's needs (which are often physical), can be home delivered or group centered in focus. Beyond essentials, such as health care, meals, chore services, and transportation, information and referral services may be organized for employment, recreation, group support, and crisis intervention suitable for home, half-way house, foster home, or community-based group residence. The best-designed plan should be consonant with financial resources at the community's disposal, and should include some built-in evaluative mechanism to monitor effectiveness of services, delivery systems, and client need assessment over time. The main focus, above all, should be on that which is viable and appropriate in the given community for the clientele served. (CP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Cooperative Extension Service.