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Special Commentary
July 13, 1964

About Nursing Homes

Author Affiliations


Dr. White is Director and Dr. Edwards Assistant Director of the Environmental Medicine and Medical Services Division, American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1964;189(2):161-163. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070020089026

YOUR 3,000 persons in the US who passes into the 65-and-over group in a given day. Today there are more than 17.5 million persons in the US over 65 years of age, and estimates are that they will number 24.5 million by 1980.

Or your patient may have a chronic conditon—arteriosclerosis, arthritis, paralysis—not necessitating hospitalization but still requiring special care.

The need for prolonged personal attention with some professional supervision, the high cost of hospital facilities for such care, and the knowledge that the family cannot provide the care needed make the nursing home* a practical facility to be considered.

Your patient's attitude toward nursing homes may be negative, based on a depressing picture of institutionalized old people who are relatively inactive and dependent with unpromising prognoses, and on psychological feelings, with overtones of ambivalence, resentment, and guilt. The problem of caring for aging relatives may engender such a dismal

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