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Congregate Housing for the Elderly: Theoretical, Policy and Programmatic Perspectives.

Edited by L. W. Kaye and A. Monk

New York: The Haworth Press. 1992. 190 pp. Price US $29,95 (hardcover); US $14.95 (paperback).

Congregate housing in the United States, the equivalent of sheltered housing in the United Kingdom, is a topic of endless interest in both countries. For a British reader this collection of essays edited by Kaye and Monk is a useful historical account of developments in the USA during the last twenty years.

There are some tantalizing glimpses of experiments such as the demonstration social/health maintenance organizations. Under this model, a single private provider assumes responsibility for a full range of ambulatory, acute inpatient, nursing home, home health and personal care services under a prospectively determined fixed budget. These have been operating since 1985 but there is no account of an evaluation. There are also salutary lessons for private developers who built schemes in the early 1980s targeted at healthy upper-income couples in the 65-74 age range. The authors say that |Generally these communities made no provision for health care and provided little assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing . . . they focused on the independent living end of the housing continuum'. The authors conclude that many areas of the country are now overbuilt with a product which very few elderly people need or want. Stressing the need for more care this |necessitates an understanding of health care, an area where few for-profit newcomers have desired to tread'.

The most striking thing about this book is the lack of comparisons with other countries, especially the UK where congregate housing has moved on both in terms of provisions and research.

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Author:Tinker, Anthea
Publication:Age and Ageing
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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