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PROBLEMS OF INSTITUTIONAL CARE OF THE AGED
DAVID A. BOYD, JR.
Am J Psychiatry 1950;106:616-620.
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The Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic.

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Abstract

The present methods of managing the problems of the aged have proved unsatisfactory and inadequate. Common humanity demands the formulation of some program of care that permits the elderly to maintain dignity, self-respect, and a sense of worth as well as providing physical necessities. This can be accomplished by state institutions designed to provide a program of activities and care suited to the needs and abilities of an aged resident population. In the long run, the total cost of such care will be no greater than the present wasteful and haphazard types of custodial management. In addition, it will permit this ever larger group to spend their declining years in a setting that encourages a sense of personal dignity and utilizes their skills. It has been said, "Three score and ten years make the upshot of man's pleasurable existence." This does not have to be so if the problem is met by careful planning and new approaches. Not only will the lives of the aged be enriched, but the public mental hospitals will be enabled to return to their primary function of treating the mentally ill.

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