Pathways to service for older persons

Susan A. Cole, Baila Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As services for older persons continue to shift from hospital and nursing home care to greater reliance on support for care at home, the need to understand the ways older persons obtain services becomes more important. This study examines the use of home-delivered meals as a case study to gain insight into the process of service use from the recipients' point of view. It explores the research question: What are the pathways by which older persons acquire home delivered meals? Narrative analyses of structured and unstructured questions asked of thirty frail older persons suggested that the process of acquiring home delivered meals was accompanied by patterns of adjustment in shifting between independence and dependence in managing loss of physical function, and themes of isolation, loss, and abandonment. The results provide insights for social workers in providing the support needed for the role transition that service acceptance symbolizes for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-83
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Accessing service networks
  • Home delivered meals
  • Independence/dependence
  • Role transition
  • Service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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