1988 the R.S.A. changes the residential homes and the health assistance of old and disabled people

The Cornaglia Centre for research and reports taked part in studies and projects.

Le R.S.A –  Sanitary and health Residential homes – were born in 1988, their main idea was related to sanitary welfare values. This programme was to be considered quite new in a period in which nursing homes were the only dwelling place for the aged and nothing or almost nothing there existed for handicapped people. The so call “Guarde Houses”, the old name for those residences meant for elderly people who could be nursed neither at home nor in outpatient departments, where quite few and could only be found in Northern Italy. Old tradition and limitated longevity justify the above mentioned “Guarded Houses”. R.S.A. are new residential units which stando between a hospital and e guarded house. Me Carlo Donat Cattin MP was the real mentor of such enormous change as far as elderly people and disabled were concerned. The above mentioned Parliament Member succeded in having the project funded through a finantial act (1988). The additional Article 20bis of the Law 11/03/88 n. 67, established the financial backing (30 thousend billion lire) for 140000 new beds in such sociomedical structures. The law provided for the procedure to accede to funds. At the beginning, a lot of project were restricted to real nursing homes. Many elderly people used still to live in residential units without any sanitary backing. The Ministry of Health (Department of Health) was to weigh both the interventions and their quality. Dimensional standard were to be specified. Later the Regions issued long-term plans, set of rules and standards. They followed the development of the provisions of the law closer. Little by little suitable facilities in accordance with the law were carried out. At first here were few projects concerning disabled, a figure of user though young, included in the Law nr. 67. Anyway, great attention was given to their accessibility. The laws which dated back to ten years before, become a topical subject. They anticipated the demolition of architectural barriers in the buildings and in the built environment. Both elderly people and disabled were changing physically, psychologically and socially. The former were defined “Great Adults” because in living longer, they presented their psychologically abilities intact. The latter, became “differently able” owing to their improved quality of life they managed to achieve thanks to care and attentions. Both users were more attentive interlocutors. They were able to advance more well-considered request to those boards resposible to their assistance and care. They were users not patients. Longevity was becoming a social phenomenon of an age. Various medical specialists contributed to find new ways to soothe discriminations and pains caused by paraplegia. The Italian Medical Society of Paraplegia was born: the Cornaglia Centre organised meeting and planned projects concerning facilities and RSA, trying to combine their bivalence in accordance with the law. The RSA started to put up both users. Flexible Residential Homes (RAF) were able to follow their guests’handicaps and process of old age. The events worth remembering are two: the meeting at Magliano Alfieri (Asti) 13th May 1989 “Elderly people and their environment” in the presence of Mr. Carlo Donat Cattin M.P. Many famous geriatricians such as (F. Fabris, F. Cravero, L. Pernigotti) architects and engineers such as (F. D’Agonolo Vallan, E. Monzeglio, F. Rabino) Sanitary managers such as (M. Lombardo, G. Rivara) were invited as speakers. The second event dates back to 1996 and the Cornaglia Centre in collaboration with the Polytechnic in Turin carried out a research upon “Disabled senior citizens and Geriatric RSA” The new Geriatric Centres allow for requirements of those users who need a constant sanitary help owing to either their chronic diseases or poli-pathologies.


The testimonials of research
 Magliano Alfieri
 The Geriatric RSA are the most suitable places for those people who are either obliged to be hospitalized or have to be always on the move; that is to say from their houses to hospital. These Centre can supply a hospital-like-aid. The research ended in a pilot project and its subsequent publication. The home help service is brought in Turin where it is called “Hospital at home”. (Dario Bracco)

Testimonial of the meeting and the speakers at Magliano Alfieri


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