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Menno Home: a parochial housing project for the aged : a comparative assessment; Vancouver 1961 Schroeder, Peter

Abstract

The main task of any group attempting to provide proper housing for the aged is that of making it more than simply "a place to stay." The Mennonite community, too, is faced with this task as it looks for an answer to the housing dilemma of its older members. This study undertakes to survey one kind of answer – that of Menno Home. This survey of a Mennonite Home located in Clearbrook, B.C., indicates that this type of housing tends to cut its residents off from the stream of life. The participation of these elderly people in community affairs becomes very limited. The study begins with a discussion of the aging process in general. It describes some types of housing projects which have been undertaken on behalf of the aged. In the second chapter the development of Menno Home is reviewed, and a description of the housing unit is undertaken. In the following chapter the services that are offered are traced against the background of a strong and devoted church-oriented administration. A comparison is drawn with other homes for the aged. This is done through the use of several studies undertaken by Master of Social Work students in previous years. In the final chapter the needs of the residents of Menno Home are considered. This is followed by a discussion of what social workers would be able to do to make a beneficial contribution to Menno Home. Menno Home is found to be quite similar to other institutions dedicated to the same purposes. The variations that are evident consist in different policies of admission, different types of administration and some differences in the physical plant itself. However, the distinguishing feature of Menno Home lies in its strong kinship to the Mennonite church, and in the fact that it serves almost exclusively a rural, Mennonite, German or Low German speaking group. Menno Home would lend itself well to the influence of a capable social worker, as that worker cooperates with the Christian ministers now engaged in serving the residents of Menno Home.

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