Author: Lee-Cheung, Yee-lin Cecilia
Title: At the threshold of elderly residential homes : a study on social environmental factors leading to the withdrawal of their applications by the elderly people for long term residential placements when their turns come for admission
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1995
Subject: Old age homes -- China -- Hong Kong
Older people -- Institutional care -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: 87 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: To identify the social environmental factors affecting the withdrawal by the elderly people of their applications for admission to long term residential homes when their turns came for admission was the main purpose of this study. A sample of 12 elderly persons were studied through in-depth interviews during the period from August, 1994 to February, 1995. They were all referred by the Placement Office of the Elderly ( POE ) of Social Welfare Department on a voluntary basis. It was found that all these elderly people applied for residential care because of situational changes such as onset of hospitalization arising from ill health, eviction, or relationship problem with family members. However, when their crisis situations subsided by generating alternatives such as improved health condition, use of community support services, or changed living environment, etc., this group of old people still had no wish to withdraw their applications unless they were really called for admission after a specified home was designated. It was the type of decision which required them to change their status quo by trading off their possessions that made this group really think about the consequences and eventually turned their back from the threshold of the long-term residential homes. Due to the uncertainty and the unpredictability on the waiting period, it might be hard for this group of elderly people to withdraw their applications at an earlier stage. In fact, the waiting system could serve as a buffer toward their crisis situation to give them sense of security if their crisis might come back again. It could also provide them a contact point for social work intervention for generating alternatives to solve their problem rather than seeking long-term residential care. Common characteristics were found among this group of elderly people. Most of them showed prejudice on elderly homes and showed strong attachment and high satisfaction on their present living environment. They were all living in communities with high density elderly population and with strong family support. Even those who had no next-of-kin in Hong Kong, had supports from closed friends or distant relatives. Social supports, both from friends, neighbours, or community support services from welfare agencies were also strong. It was worth noting that all the elderly people being studied were suffering from ill health and most of them were frail. Still, they struggled to go to the nearby park and podium as their daily activities to have social interactions with their neighbours of their same age. Ill health condition might not be the determinant for residential care for this group of old people who were socially active and were high-spirited.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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