Community care services for the elderly mentally infirm
Community care for the elderly mentally infirm can be discussed in both descriptive and prescriptive terms. Descriptively one can identify the types of care received by the elderly mentally infirm while living in their own or a relative's household and contrast that with the types of care provided in various institutional settings. Prescriptively one can make recommendations concerning the means by which the elderly mentally infirm currently living in the community could best be cared for. The gap between the descriptive and prescriptive models of care gives some sort of index of the need for change, innovation or improvement - in the eyes of the commentator, of course. So in this chapter I would like to both describe then prescribe community care practices. But before doing so it is helpful to examine what need there is in the first place for a community care service for the elderly mentally infirm.