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Social care: family and community support systems

Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science

Author: Cantor, M. H.
Year: 1989
Type: Journal Article


The growing number of elderly in the U.S. is bringing about dramatic changes in family life, the nature & extent of interventions necessary to support an aging population, & our notions about respective roles of family & community in providing for these needs. Although most older people manage independently with only the ordinary assistance family members provide each other, growing numbers of the oldest old & persons suffering from frailty & incapacity require more extensive social care. The term social care is often used synonymously with formal community services, but the concept is broader, also encompassing informal family care. Social care is directed toward needs critical to independence: socialization & self-development, help in tasks of daily living, & assistance with personal care. At present, older people prefer that social care be provided only when families are unable to provide the required assistance. However, given increases in numbers of working women, the restructuring of the family, & changing attitudes about the community's role as service provider, a more carefully articulated partnership between family & community will be required in the future.

Further Details

Pages 99-112
Volume 503
Accession Number 27.3.03
Electronic Resource Number
Keywords North America, older

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