Into the House of Old: A History of Residential Care in British Columbia

McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2003 - 247 pages
Spanning the period from the 1890s to the 1960s, this publication details the lives and survival strategies of elderly people as they struggle to remain independent. Megan Davies opens the door to the institutional world of the old age home, demonstrating how the legacy of the poor law and the demands of the emerging welfare state worked together to shape residential care facilities for seniors. She looks at the experiences of elderly people on British Columbia's economic and social margins both before and after the advent of old age pensions, analysing the myriad strategies used by the elderly poor to stay out of institutions and the role of family, community, and state support in this process. Davies' study of institutional life is multi-textured, informed by social and architectural theory while telling us much about daily life in these facilities. We learn about angry rebellion and harsh discipline, fun and festivals, death and compassion. And we see how the 20th century witnessed the gradual withdrawal of these institutions from the life of the community, further enhancing the marginal place of the old age home in our society.

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À propos de l'auteur (2003)

Megan J. Davies is Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Glasgow.

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