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April 21, 1945

Foster Home Care for Mental Patients

JAMA. 1945;127(16):1086. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860160062028

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This is an exceptionally interesting and valuable report on a method of caring for mentally ill patients outside of institutions. These patients, carefully selected, are placed in foster homes, preferably in a small town or a rural environment. The method is valuable in some types of cases as a therapeutic procedure. Many of these patients have improved considerably when placed in family care. They have responded in a highly satisfactory manner to the home environment and to the personal relationships which have been built up. Aside from the therapeutic values, this method helps to release crowding in institutions and costs less than hospital care, even when the cost of careful supervision is added.

Patients regarded as suitable for family care fall into the following classes, according to the report:

  1. Those completely absorbed with their own psychotic ideas; comfortable anywhere. This includes many dementia precox patients.

  2. Senile, degenerative patients,

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