The last new home : residential care for the elderly in New Zealand : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Sociology), Massey University

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Massey University
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The primary assumptions of government policies for the care and support of older people in New Zealand are that home based care ('ageing in place') is the best option for the frail elderly, and that 'home' and 'rest home' are mutually exclusive concepts. In this context I interviewed eleven rest home residents about their experience of 'home' in relation to residential care. What I found was that, for most of these participants, frailty and increasing dependence on family and friends had meant their own home was no longer the seat of identity and continuing independence, or indeed of close relationships and intimacy, security, comfort and control. Rather, moving to a rest home provided greater independence from family and friends and, for many, increased security, comfort and companionship. For these older people 'home' was not associated with a specific residence and was indeed transferable to a rest home setting. These findings therefore contradict and call into question the primary assumptions on which current ageing in place policies are based.
Elderly care, Nursing homes, Home care