a1 Public Policy Programme, School of Social Sciences, The University of Waikato, New Zealand.
a2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, The University of Otago, New Zealand.
The onset of ill-health and frailty in later life, within the context of the policy of ageing-in-place, is increasingly being responded to through the provision of home care. In the philosophy of ageing-in-place, the home provides for continuity of living environment, maintenance of independence in the community and social inclusion. The provision of assistance to remain at home assumes continuity in the living environment and independence in the organisation of daily life and social contact. This paper explores the changes that occur as a result of becoming a care recipient within the home and concludes that the transition into receiving care is characterised by discontinuity and upheaval which tends to reinforce social exclusion. We draw on the rites of passage framework, which highlights social processes of separation, liminality and reconnection, in analysing this transition to enhance understanding of the experience and gain insights to improve the policy and practice of home care. Separation from independent living leads to a state of liminality. The final stage in the rites of passage framework draws attention to reconnections, but reconnection is not inevitable. Reconnection is, however, an appropriate goal for the care sector when supporting frail or disabled older people through the transition into becoming a home-care recipient.
(Accepted March 14 2011)
(Online publication May 04 2011)
c1 Address for correspondence: Patrick Barrett, Political Science and Public Policy Programmes, The School of Social Science, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. E-mail: email@example.com