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50 percent of all housing is really Government housing after all, and that most people have just been paying rent and taxes for housing they thought they owned.)
We must again think about public housing, not necessarily on the grand project scale but as part and parcel of our urban renewal and redevelopment programs, placed in the amounts needed in neighborhoods where people already live.
The exile of people to remotely located projects should stop. In many cases, these projects are so far away from things that savings in rent are taken up by increased transportation costs to and from work and to shopping centers which did not move with the removal of people to projects.
HOUSING FOR ELDERLY WHO ARE NOT ABLE BODIED
One does not lose his individuality or his need for privacy, or for intimate, friendly contact as he grows older. Treatment of old people as a "class" who can be confined together on a large scale is condemning them to prison, although they are indeed guilty of no crime save that of growing old; in many cases it is condemning them to death. There is nothing so stultifying as the custodial atmosphere; one who is not sick before he enters a large institution where there are many sick people soon becomes ill himself; from the senile he takes on senility; the presence of the moribund all around him soon finds him merely waiting to die himself.
So I hope that we may soon have no “institutions for the aged” outside of the necessary hospitals for the aged ill. The more we can do to keep people living in the natural and normal way they have lived all their lives the better.
I think that more of the smaller rest homes are better solutions than more of the larger institutions even for those aged people who cannot care for themselves. Extension of close State supervision and occupational and other therapeutic services to them has improved the small private homes greatly. Even when they are not of the very best quality, I would prefer them to heavily populated municipal and county old people's homes. The big old people's homes are not prisons—at least I've never heard of a revolt in any of them.
But there is a dreadful similarity to prison routine-let me cite only the long, long night that begins after a 3:30 or 4 p.m. evening meal at a big one I know.
The smaller rest homes, where a client can get personal attention, real help, often love, from the generally good people that run them ought to be helped to do the kind of a job they want to do. Modernizing loans, short term loans even to stockpile foods when they are cheap, ought to be granted to them. There are 5,000 of these homes in California and they care for a substantial part of our aged people who cannot care for themselves. It is possible that small hotels could also be developed into good rest homes.
Mr. BAILEY. Now it is a great pleasure to me if the next witness will come forward, Theodore Dorman.
This is a fellow West Virginian who has considerable experience in this field. He is a former commissioner of institutions in the State of West Virginia, and I am sure that he has some firsthand practice and firsthand experiences that he could bring to this committee in the consideration of this legislation.
It is a pleasure to introduce Mr. Dorman, a fellow West Virginian.
STATEMENT OF THEODORE T. DORMAN, ADMINISTRATOR, UNITED
CHURCH OF CHRIST HOMES
Mr. DORMAN. My name is Theodore T. Dorman, and I am administrator for the United Church of Christ Homes, Inc., Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BAILEY. Go right ahead, Mr. Dorman.
Mr. DORMAN. It is a distinct pleasure to be here, particularly under the chairmanship of our senior Congressman from West Virginia, of whom we are very, very proud.
I am happy that I have not made a prepared text, because I think I would probably have torn it up at this point, as so much of the information has been covered already.
I do think that I would like to reiterate several points, and I think that possibly I could have been more use to this committee due to the fact that I was a member of the special staff on aging for 21/2 years.
I was present, I was able to witness the inadequacies of the facilities of the special staff to take care of this tremendous problem, which is not a problem, a national phenomenon which has occurred in our country.
Now when I say the "inadequacy,” this is no reflection upon any individual of the special staff, and I have seen many fine courageous people go in there, attempting to do a job, and I think that the difficulty is primarily an organizational one, in which you are very far away from the voice of authority.
Therefore, I am speaking in favor of the identical bills of Mr. Fogarty and Mr. McNamara. The difficulty with Health, Education, and Welfare is it has so many pockets it does not know which one the watch is in, very often.
It has more individual budgets, I believe, than any department. It handles everything from surplus property to public health, and its interests are myriad.
Therefore, usually somebody is put in as an assistant secretary or undersecretary, and they are given a great many other tasks to perform, and also take care of aging and the special staff.
Well, this is not, I think, the answer to this situation which we are faced with in this country, and which is growing day by day more and more, and one of these days is going to burst in our faces. I think that the Federal Government and this Congress would be well to set up
this commission for several reasons. One of these reasons is that it would coordinate the efforts of the other departments and agencies which are interested in aging. In the first place, there would be enough status for this commission to see to it that the different departments did not duplicate each other's efforts, and that they met regularly, and I believe the bill provides for an interdepartmental committee.
This interdepartmental committee would be chaired by the chairman of the commission, who would be appointed by the President, and would be answerable to the President.
In other words, you have a tremendous, vast amount of work which is being done in the field of aging by the Federal Government. Unless you have worked in the Federal Government for the length of time that I have, you cannot comprehend how many different features are being handled by the Federal Government which are acutely necessary to the welfare of the senior citizens of this country.
But the difficulty is, they are working in airtight pockets, very often, without the proper communication between them, there is duplication, and it would be a definite assist to the welfare of our senior citizens if all of this different information was brought together and pooled. I think that this commission would be in a position to do this. Of course, it depends upon the type of people who are appointed to it, but given a good car and a good driver, you can usually get a great deal done. I think that it would be of tremendous use to the people of this country, if this commission were formed.
Now I heard the remark made on whether it was political or nonpolitical. Personally, I think it would be political and I think it would be a very healthy thing that it were political, because it would see to it that new blood was brought in, and new people, I am sure they would be people of high caliber, would be interested, and they would have to be people who are knowledgeable of this field because it would be insanity to bring somebody in who was not, but at least they would be people who would not be tied down by bureaucratic methods and ideas.
I think that is one of the greatest difficulties with which we are faced in every angle of the Federal Government. It was brought to me very acutely.
Mr. BAILEY. If you would permit me to interrupt, I am sorry Mr. Frelinghuysen has left the committee room. He was making inquiry about a Republican a few minutes ago. The witness now occupying the chair is an outstanding member of the Republican Party in my State.
Mr. DORMAN. Thank you, sir.
But I feel that very often, particularly in a section that I was exposed to in Health, Education, and Welfare, for instance, the first day that I arrived, I said, “What is the object of the special staff? What are we about to achieve ?"
Well, half the people said that we were to coordinate the efforts of the Federal Government in aging, and the other half said that we were to initiate projects, and I do not think that that has ever been resolved, that one question right there.
Well, how are you going to do a job if you do not know what you are supposed to do to start with? A commission definitely would work which was stated, which was laid out, and I still think there would be enough prestige
Mr. BAILEY. In other words, if you will permit an interruption, any matter that is everybody's problem or everybody's responsibility does not always accomplish its purpose.
Mr. DORMAN. That is right. It was not anybody's particular child, and there were moments of great confusion and just to give you one incident of what happened. There is a newspaper which is put out by the special staff called Aging and it is a very good magazine, and a very capable job is done with Aging, but people subscribe to it, and a gentleman out in the West sent in a subscription to Aging magazine, sent in his dollar, he wanted to learn more about it. Well, unfortunately, it went to the Government Printing Office, and it got in the wrong slot, and he began getting Aviation magazine, so he wrote back and he said that he wanted Aging magazine, and so the editor of Aging wrote to the Government Printing Office and explained the situation, and next month, the editor of Aging received Aviation magazine.
Now this is a confusing situation, and I do not think that, I mean, it certainly it not typical of what went on in the special staff, or anything like that, but I feel that you would get a great deal more coordination. You are going to have an interdepartmental committee with the Fogarty-McNamara bills, and under the old situation, you heard the Federal Council mentioned. I was there when it was reactivated, and this consisted of the Secretary of-I think there
seven different departments—the Secretaries of the seven departments.
Well, they all met once, when I was there, and then after that, why, the assistant secretaries met, then finally we got down to the fourth team, and they met, and then finally the fourth team did not show up, and they sent their secretaries.
Now this is not coordination between the different departments of the Federal Government, and there is a tremendous amount of money being spent in the field of aging in the Federal Government right now. A tremendous amount of energy being put into this. If it is not coordinated, there is going to be duplication, there is going to be waste, and most serious of all, there is going to be lack of effective method of making the lives of older people happier and pleasanter and healthier.
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. O'Hara.
Mr. O'HARA. Well, I want to state to the witness that West Virginia's prestige and position has been upheld here by the witness.
I think it was tough competing with the witnesses from Rhode Island and Michigan, but I believe you have succeeded very well. Your experience on the special staff is certainly helpful in giving us some insight into these problems.
I wish to say that I think I have learned more about this problem today than in any comparable period of time since this committee took the matter up, and I want to thank you and the other witnesses as well,
Mr. DORMAN. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Dorman, I have thoroughly appreciated your appearance here, and your able way of making presentation of the situation. You have clarified the thinking, I am sure, of the members of the committee, and your testimony has been quite helpful. We appreciate it very much. Mr. DORMAN. Thank you very much, sir. Mr. BAILEY. Thank you. Mr. BAILEY. Is there anything for inclusion in the record ? The committee will stand in recess until 9:45 a.m., tomorrow.
(Whereupon, at 11:50 a.m. the hearing was recessed, to be reconvened at 9:25 a.m., Wednesday, April 18, 1962.)