In Chapter 2 we met Mrs Archer who, although quite incapacitated, manages to live happily and contentedly in her own home — thanks to the help of a variety of people. In this chapter, we shall look in more detail at the networks which support older people in the community. These networks are often complex: some may be developed step by step by older people themselves, others they may be introduced to only when illness or frailty arises. Some may be quite informal, others very structured — many are a combination of both. We shall explore something of their diversity through a series of short case studies, taking real-life examples of older people’s individual needs, and the formal and informal support mobilised to meet them.
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