Co-ordinating community care of the aged through case management

  • Frances Howes Department of Social Work, University of Stellenbosch


The co-ordination of service delivery to chronically ill and severely impaired persons in community settings is a major problem facing human-service organizations. In the United States case management evolved as a synthesis of the co-ordination of direct service delivery to clients and between service-delivery systems. Case management thus has a dual nature: (1) Direct service delivery which is continuous, coordinated and based on planned intervention to ensure the rendering of quality care to a client: and (2) the administrative structure, inter-organizational networks, and informal and formal resources within which case management takes place, and which aims at accountability and cost-effective utilization of resources. A practice model of case management in aged care should include the following components: Assessment: the planning of services and the identification of resources: linkage between clients and resources: implementation and co-ordination of services: the monitoring of service delivery: and evaluation and re-assessment. A model for monitoring case management in aged care is presented. As South Africa is in the process of replanning and restructuring its service-delivery system, the usefulness of case management to co-ordinate community care of older persons should be considered.


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