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'Incoherent and violent if crossed': The admission of older people to the New Norfolk Lunatic Asylum in the nineteenth century

Citation

Vreugdenhil, A, 'Incoherent and violent if crossed': The admission of older people to the New Norfolk Lunatic Asylum in the nineteenth century, Health and History, 14, (2) pp. 91-111. ISSN 1442-1771 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine

Official URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5401/healthhist.14....

Abstract

While many older people were admitted to lunatic asylums in nineteenth-century Australia, we know little about this group and the reasons for their admission. To address that gap, this article explores the admission of people aged sixty years and over to the New Norfolk Lunatic Asylum (Tasmania) from 1830-99, through the analysis of the asylum's admission register. Older people comprised 328 (14 percent) of the 2,258 admissions during that period, with the majority being men. Many of the older people admitted to the asylum were single and poor, but a surprising number had families and financial means, suggesting a complexity of circumstances surrounding the admission. Three case studies provide further insight into these admissions and asylum life more generally.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social history, old age, asylum, mental health, institutionalisation
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Social Work
Research Field:Social Work not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Mental Health
Author:Vreugdenhil, A (Dr Anthea Vreugdenhil)
ID Code:82980
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2013-02-26
Last Modified:2015-02-03
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