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Abstract

Institutions for the aged represent an organized effort on the part of society and various individuals., groups, and organizations to provide for and capitalize on the service needs of elderly persons no longer able to live independently in the community. These settings have been brought into existence and are maintained by various commercial, civic, voluntary, government, and other interest groups. The motives and interests of such groups vary; nevertheless, these settings offer services to consumers, provide employment to members of various professional and occupational groups, provide an arena for the involvement of various scholastic disciplines and professional associations, and benefit individuals and families related to the residents who live temporarily or permanently in institutions or otherwise also utilize the services offered in such settings. Institutions for the aged provide opportunities for business profits, and involvement for legislative, administrative, and regulatory public agencies.

Viewing institutions for the aged with an organizational analysis frame of reference, therefore, should enhance our understanding of the salient factors which facilitate or constrain the operation of such settings and the services provided which, in turn, affect the level of well-being of elderly and disabled persons utilizing these services on a temporary or permanent basis. Using organizational analysis as a guiding framework, a model for the comprehension and better understanding of institutions for the aged will be developed and discussed. In the gerontological literature, institutions for the aged include homes for the aged, nursing homes, domiciliaries, chronic care facilities, and other congregate care environments serving older persons unable to live independently in the community.

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