Journal Article

A Natural Locally‐Based Networking Approach for Singleton Disabled Elderly: Implementation and Case Illustration

Yip Kam‐shing and Law Sung‐on

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 32, issue 8, pages 1037-1049
Published in print December 2002 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2002 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/32.8.1037
A Natural Locally‐Based Networking Approach for Singleton Disabled Elderly: Implementation and Case Illustration

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Hong Kong is a high industralized and commercialized city‐sized region. Within such a business‐orientated and competitive lifestyle, the elderly usually are the ones who have poor social support and social networks. Many singleton elderly lead lonely lives within the community. The Good Neighbour Centre of the United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service in Hong Kong has implemented a natural locality‐based supportive networking approach for disabled singleton elderly in a public estate (1991‐2000). As part of this approach, various psycho‐social interventions were developed over nine years to strengthen mutual support among neighbours, able‐bodied elderly, outpatients suffering from mental illness and volunteers who were matched and integrated with the disabled singleton elderly person to form a locality‐based naturally supporting community. Different stages of developing a natural, supportive community by networking were identified in this project: network assessment, network matching, network formation and network strengthening. The concepts of stable and constant mutual support, mutual development and mutual concern were stressed. Feedback from stakeholders was encouraging and the demonstrated improvement in the functional and psycho‐social well‐being of disabled singleton elderly and mental health outpatients was impressive and clear. Also, according to the principles of the strengths perspective, the approach was strength oriented, that is it cultivated the potential strengths within a locally‐based community: challenging the care and concern of members within the community through the loneliness of singleton elderly; developing the mutual support and nurturing new supportive resources within a locally‐based community. Further research may help to consolidate the effectiveness of this approach through new strategies.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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