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Institutional structures: Catalysts of or barriers to quality care for the institutionalized aged in Scotland and the U.S.

  • Medicine
  • Political Science


The care of the elderly in two long-term care institutions, one in Scotland and one in the United States, is described, compared, and analyzed. In Scotland three institutional structures, the National Health Service, the Geriatric Service, and the specialty of geriatrics are identified as catalysts of quality care. In the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid, the absence of geriatrics as a specialty, and the nursing home are identified as barriers to quality care for the institutionalized aged. The findings suggest that three components, an adequate government insurance program, professionals who specialize in the care of the aged, and a structure to provide continuing comprehensive care, are essential for a successful program of care for the institutionalized elderly.

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