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Nursing Homes and the Elderly

Written By: Dan Stanley  |  Posted: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

            It seems good to at least broach the subject of the elderly, our parents and grandparents, regarding the issue of nursing homes.  As you know, it is much more common for our parents to live their final days in a nursing home than in our own home.  I do not know the percentages, but my guess is few resorted to their children' home to finish their sojourn in this life.   Rather, condominiums, townhouses, and nursing homes are the usual final stopping places for the elderly in our day and age unless they are fortunate enough to be able to live in their own home until the end of their life.
            In fact, until recent years, homes for the elderly generally related to what was known as
"almshouses" for the poor (which included the sane and insane).   These were very undesirable places in which to live as acknowledged by all.  There were also, over the past approximately 150 years, homes provided by churches and other groups for singles and widows who were destitute.  But by and large most of the elderly did not stay in such homes. 
            In the 1930's this began to include elderly people who had children and were not destitute.  But it was not until the 1960's this really gained ground and popularity.  According to the Foundation Aiding the Elderly,

                "In 1965, the passage of Medicare and Medicaid provided additional impetus to the growth of the nursing-home industry, which, while it had been increasingly steadily since the passage of Social Security, grew dramatically. Between 1960 and 1976, the number of nursing homes grew by 140 percent, nursing-home beds increased by 302 percent, and the revenues received by the industry rose 2,000 percent. To a great extent, this growth was stimulated by private industry. By 1979, despite the ability of government homes to provide care, 79 percent of all institutionalized elderly persons resided in commercially run homes."

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