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November 4, 1983

Care for the Aged

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical Center New York

JAMA. 1983;250(17):2285-2286. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340170023015

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To the Editor.—  It is surprising and disheartening to me to notice in David C. Kennie's article (1983; 249:770) on good health care for the aged that among the basic health principles cited, none of the ten include any significant mention of psychiatric or emotional counseling for the aged. Since Kennie places what I believe to be a correct emphasis on the correlation between the restoration of functional ability and the patient's sense of well-being, this mysterious exclusion seems doubly puzzling to me. No proper support system or broad-based approach to the issue of health assessment in this age group can be complete without the inclusion of a discussion of the proper methods for evaluation and treatment of the mental difficulties encountered.Practically all of the principles that Kennie elucidates in his article either depend on or would be substantially enhanced by a reasonable amount of psychiatric input. Perhaps the