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Admissions policy for an institution for the senile: a study of formal and informal criteria for admission to Valleyview Hospital, Essondale, B.C., 1960-61 MacLean, Jean Ethel

Abstract

Programs and facilities necessary for the proper care and treatment of the senile are many and varied. This study is concerned with one of the institutional resources: the policies and procedures governing admission to Valleyview Hospital, an institution designed specifically for the aged with other disabilities of senility. To apply "operational" tests to policy and procedure, a sample of (30) applicants from the waiting list were selected for study, the purposes being (a) to determine what factors were operative in securing admission, (b) how the stated criteria for assessing priority of admission were utilized. A number of special personal circumstances affected the appropriateness of the group. Apart from this, it was found that the formal criteria for acceptance of applications to the hospital are employed with reasonable consistency, when measured against the time an individual applicant spends on the waiting list. It was also found that when a community agency initiated the application, admission was granted after relatively short periods on the waiting list, if there was no other resource readily available. Prom this study, the roles of the social worker in pre-admission services can be delineated as (a) helping the applicant to find other forms of care over the waiting period, (b) helping the Medical Superintendent to assess priorities for admission, and (c) helping applicants and families to accept the need for hospitalization when this is justifiable. Recommendations for needed changes in procedures and in legislation are made, particularly in the present cumbersome application arrangements, which require certification of the applicant as mentally ill before an application can he placed on the waiting list. Development in the community of specialized types of boarding and nursing homes for the care of the less severely handicapped by emotional and behavioural disturbances is also recommended.

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