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Accounting for old-age policy: a review essay

National Forum

Author: Hudson, R. B.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1982

Abstract:

The evolution of US policies for the aging-in the areas of Social Security, health care, nursing homes, & social services-is reviewed based on four books. The political, bureaucratic, & policy factors, as well as the activities of aging advocacy groups, are discussed in these works as reasons for the conflicted state of aging policy. Henry J. Pratt's The Gray Lobby (U of Chicago Press, 1976) discusses the origins & development of old-age organizations & their impact on policy changes, particularly in the 1960s & 1970s. Policy-Making for Social Security, by Martha Derthick (Brookings, 1979), in contrast, describes the lack of effect of interest groups on Social Security policy, whose 35-year evolution has, until recently, been governed by a very few within the Social Security Administration. Bruce Vladeck's Unloving Care (Basic Books, 1980) is a condemning analysis of nursing homes in the US. Carroll Estes, in The Aging Enterprise (see IRPS No. 9/81CO0055), discusses programs for the aged as arising from society's definition of this group, & especially from the self-serving interests of the helping professions. Future policies will most likely be influenced by pressure groups who have the most to lose or gain in this struggle.

Further Details

Pages: 33-35
Volume: 62
Issue: 4
Accession Number: 8.5.03
Keywords: North America, older, health improvement, policy compliance
Reads: 225
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