In a narrow sense, deinstitutionalization is a process in which we strive to close total institutions and establish community services.
The first aspect of this complex process includes planning the transformation, reducing institutional capacities, and gradually closing total institutions. The other crucial aspect of deinstitutionalization is establishing community services tailored to each user’s personal needs and plans. As they provide personalized care and support, these services enable users to live independently in the community and fulfill their life goals.
However, the impact of the process spreads further and deeper. Deinstitutionalization transforms society’s view of people with different labels and valorizes their community roles as dignified and equal, thus restoring equality and respect for persons who receive institutional care. It enables them to live as independently as possible and integrate into the community with valued roles.
Deinstitutionalization is a new paradigm of long-term care which shifts social frameworks and reduces disparities between users and professionals.