Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 135-148

First online:

Supported housing for the mentally ill elderly: Implementation and consumer choice

  • Sung Sil Lee SohngAffiliated withUniversity of Washington School of Social Work

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The development of innovative alternatives to nursing homes is critical, especially in the context of OBRA mandates and the growing geriatric population. This article examines the experience of one urban county in Washington State in providing supported housing for the OBRA-affected mentally ill elderly. The significance of this demonstration project is its “bold” new approach in applying this emerging model to the elderly. It illustrates the perspectives and experience of both consumers and care-givers in implementing the supported housing approach, and the tensions between consumer preferences and staff, organizational and funding constraints.