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Aging Ment Health. 2008 Jan;12(1):81-91. doi: 10.1080/13607860701366038.

The balance of care: reconfiguring services for older people with mental health problems.

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PSSRU, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


The belief that most older people, including those with complex needs, can, and would prefer to be, cared for in their own homes underpins community care policy in many developed nations. There is thus a common desire to avoid the unnecessary or inappropriate placement of older people in care homes or in hospital by shifting the balance of provision. This paper demonstrates the utility of a 'balance of care' approach to address these issues in the context of commissioners' intention to reconfigure services for older people with mental health problems in a defined geographical area of the North West of England. The findings suggest that, if enhanced community services were available, a number of people currently admitted to residential or hospital beds could be more appropriately supported in their own homes at a cost that is no greater than local agencies currently incur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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