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poorer States are less likely to move ahead in this area on their own without some special stimulation, but even a State like California has difficulty getting adequate appropriations for this type of activity.

Mr. GIAIMO. And you do feel, then, that there should be Federal financing to stimulate and encourage the States to move in this area?

Dr. GORDON. I think so. I think the grants that were made to the States in preparation for the White House Conference on Aging did a good deal to stimulate the States to take a broad look at their problems, and try to produce reports which would call attention to the particular problems prevailing in the individual States.

The general feeling, I think, in Washington and throughout the country is that these reports that were prepared for the White House Conference on Aging, with the assistance of the $15,000 that was granted to each of the States, were very valuable and it would be this kind of thing that would be stimulated, which this legislative grant involved, which are obviously not large; they would be Federal grants to get the States started moving.

Mr. GIAIMO. One more question, Mr. Chairman.

You suggested later on in your testimony that we should perhaps lower the age in the definition of the aged.

Dr. GORDON. I am not sure that it would be desirable to try to put a definite definition in here, but I would like to see some wording introduced that would make it clear that the purpose and activities of this proposed agency and this proposed program would not in any way be confined to the persons who have reached retirement age, that there are some aspects of this problem which do require very

close attention to the problems that arise in the later working years of working life, that lead to more serious difficulties in old age.

Mr. GIAIMO. Except that, isn't there a danger if we begin to include in the problems of the aged, if we begin to include the people in their middle forties or early fifties, isn't there a danger of watering down the whole program?

Dr. GORDON. I think there is some danger of that, but I think there are certain aspects of it which I already mentioned, the employment problem.

Mr. GIAIMO. Well, employment is one of them.

Dr. GORDON. Certainly our programs which are concerned with the employment programs of older workers don't begin after age 65, they begin at age 40 or 45, but there are also some other related aspects. The incidence of the serious disability for one, increases with the advance in age. We have in OASDI now a program of disability insurance benefits for the permanently and totally disabled. These people are more likely to be in the age brackets, say, from 50 to 64. which was the original group that was covered, than they are to be in the younger brackets. Now there are awfully important interrelationships here between disability that develops, say, from age on, and the status of a man in old age, and I would hate to see ton sharp a line drawn which would confine this kind of agency merely to the interests of the so-called senior citizens, because I think it is awfully important for us to recognize that what happens to people in the later years of working life, particularly with reference to long term unemployment and disability, can be very closely associated with the kind of problems they are going to face in old age. This is ob


viously not due to improve at all. The individual who has experienced long-term unemployment or serious disability in the later years of his working life is going to approach old age with very, very

. limited assets, possibly even with debts. He is going to be one of the serious problems among the senior citizens' group.

Mr. GIAIMO. Thank you.
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Elsworth?

Mr. ELLSWORTH. I just have one question. You stress the importance of putting more emphasis on research. Some of the witnesses yesterday felt also there should be stronger emphasis on training in the bill, or at least that this was, as you pointed out, with research, something neglected, they felt the training of people to fill these jobs was accelerated by this type of legislation and was equally important.

Would you comment on that?

Dr. GORDON. Well, in the bills that I have had a chance to read, there is a provision for research and training grants and this, I think, is very desirable, and I would hope that substantial emphasis would be embraced in the administration of those grants on stimulating training programs.

The reason I mentioned research particularly is because I feel that there is a tendency not to appropriate enough for research within an agency itself, and I think this is awfully important in this field. I have mentioned housing particularly as an aspect of the aging problem, where I feel there is a desperate need for more adequate facts.

When I was at the conference at Williamsburg, that was going over the Brookings' report, some of the representatives of the Housing and Finance Agency were there, and saying they were having extreme difficulty getting approval of an appropriation of $150,000 simply to produce adequate tabulations from the 1960 Census of Housing that would shed light on the housing status of the elderly. I understand that appropriation finally got through, but this is the kind of thing that we desperately need. We collect lots of information and then it isn't available in a form that will shed light on the status of the elderly.

One of the greatest difficulties that arises in analyzing data on housing of the elderly is that you have tables classified by age of head of household and this tells you something about the households that are headed by an elderly person, but it doesn't tell you a thing about the housing status of people who are living in a state of dependency with relatives or with younger adults.

Mr. O'HARA. Dr. Gordon, thank you very much for an excellent statement. You can be certain that we shall keep your recommendations in mind.

Is Robert Ash present?

Mr. Ash, if you will identify yourself for the reporter, you may proceed in any manner you wish.



Mr. Ash. My name is Robert Ash. I am executive secretary of

. the Central Labor Council of Alameda County, AFI-CIO, an organization whose affiliates represent 120,000 members of organized labor. The labor council over the years has been consistently active in supporting measures which it feels will benefit our States and Nation's elderly. The council recognizes that the country's millions of senior citizens will continue to grow in number, and continue to grow as a percentage of the total population. We are, therefore, pleased to witness a number of breakthroughs in recent years with respect to legislation affecting the welfare of so many. It indicates a new era for local, State, and Federal governments, as they turn to the intricate and profound problems of an age group which has received far too little attention.

We in California take considerable pride in pointing to this State's successful programs with respect to the aged, including the continuing and highly meaningful operations of the Gov. Edmund G. “Pat" Brown's committee on the aging. Such an activity underscores this State's belief that programs for the aged must go beyond the bookkeeping arrangements of welfare payments, vital though such programs are.

The council supports the principles and objectives of H.R. 10014. We believe that the single most important feature of the proposed legislation is found in paragraph 7 of section 202(a); namely:

Continuously assist States and local communities in assessing needs of the aged, developing approaches and programs with respect to problems of the aged, obtaining relevant information, and measuring the progress of such programs.

It seems likely that other functions of the Commission are largely variations on the theme set by this objective, and all that can be done to foster such intergovernmental relationships and effective action should be done. With this desired end product of working, meaningful local activities in mind, I should like to speak briefly on three aspects of a Federal program on the aging which might deserve additional consideration. H.R. 10014 at present does not seem to adequately deal with them.

First, Federal legislators may wish to consider a somewhat new approach to the problem of organizing and maintaining active local programs on aging. We should like to suggest that the proposed Commission consider a regional office for its field activities, to encourage the flexibility, improvisation, and genuine local autonomy needed in a new and untried field such as this legislation represents.

Washington, D.C., 3,000 miles and several agencies away, can tend to have merely a routine or mechanical interest in the program if staff consultants are unaware of the diversity and details of local programs for the aged. To have perhaps five or more regional areas for constant travel and consultation may provide the single feature which will assure the Federal program of success. More so than most programs, senior citizens' activities are notably "grassroots,” in terms of leadership, membership and vitality. The need, we feel, is for a Federal commission to be constantly alert to this vitality and to foster it whenever possible.

H.R. 10014 proposes that the Commission will hire its own staff and assign necessary tasks to it. At the same time, this legislation stresses the interdepartmental nature of the operation, calling for an interdepartmental council of department heads and for an advisory council which would again include department heads or their designees.


The legislation, it appears, leaves much of the actual fulfillment of its purposes up to the knowledge, talent and cooperativeness of department executives—men who are enormously occupied with their other duties. It is perhaps desirable to retain the provisions for these two interagency councils. But it also may be desirable to have staff members of the Commission to serve also as staff members of the four individual Federal departments cited in this bill.

A number of helpful results can come from such an overlapping of staff members. There is first a continuity of interest and knowledge in individual departments, on the part of staff experts rather than department heads. There will also tend to grow a spirit and a vehicle for constant and realistic cooperative action in the four or more agencies. Such a development could also be reflected in congressional relations, in the 50 States' workable programs and throughout the administration. Such a program would probably best succeed through the appointment of new Commission staff members to the various departments, rather than make Commission staff members out of available departmental employees.

Thirdly, H.R. 10014 properly describes the great scope of any program designed to explore and act upon the needs of the aging: recreation, housing, education, nursing care, welfare needs, and many The technical and numerous concerns of the Commission seem to suggest that a three-man membership is perhaps too small, that a larger number—perhaps seven-would be able to concern themselves more thoroughly with specific areas of activity. As in the case of any local, State, or National commission or board, fulfillment of goals and objectives normally depends on informed and active commission members.

The prospect of new approaches to this vital problem of the aging may also induce the best talents in the field to make themselves available as members of the Commission. It seems possible that candidates for membership would first look at the machinery established to accomplish objectives. And machinery which permits regionalization, constant interagency coordination in Washington, and a realistic workload might be desirable. In any case, it seems imperative that only topflight experts in the field or in related fields be appointed to the Commission. To do otherwise would tend to produce built-in handicaps before this new and urgent program gets underway.

In concluding, I should like to say that Federal action indicated in H.R. 10014 is definitely needed, and that the proposed legislation seems sufficiently comprehensive. Additional Federal legislation will be needed, and will be developed, as experience accumulates. The Alameda County Central Labor Council feels that local and State governments must secure Federal guidance and assistance.

Thank you for permitting us this opportunity to testify on behalf of H.R. 10014.

I would like to say here that in listening to Dr. Gordon, I would like to add to what she has said about this problem of not creating too narrow a spread in the age brackets or age bracket for which this bill and the proposed Commission would concern themselves, because I am thinking too of those people who primarily are too old to work because of change in productive methods, automation, speedup of workloads, inability over the period of years to have kept themselves in good


physical condition, and as a result of that are finding themselves unable to find employment.

I think that all that Dr. Gordon had to say in this proposed legislation, should take into consideration those matters. Also concerned, not necessarily so, but I am thinking of myself, the years that I may have been representing the labor movement, coming up in the automobile business, retail business, it would be pretty hard for me to go back to my own trade, because there are so many changes in it.

Of course, I am not going to say I am going to need help, but it just is impossible to go back after a long period of time and particularly those people who are getting aged and being removed because, as I say, of automation or increased labor loads.

I would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to appear on behalf of the organization.

Mr. O'HARA. Thank you, Mr. Ash, for taking the time to appear before us and for your very helpful suggestions. I think we can all agree with your suggestion that the program and activities for the aging have grassroots origins and support and vary from one area to another. We also would agree that any program for the aging must recognize the role of local communities and local groups.

Your suggestion with regard to the problems of cooperation and coordination that will exist, it seems to me, is an important consideration no matter what is done in the way of establishing a commission or an office within the Department of Health, Education, and Wel

You have read H.R. 10014, and your recommendation and testimony are directed toward the independent Commission. Would I be correct, however, if I assumed that you have not decided on eractly how this office should be organized." Whether it is an independent commission, an independent agency, or an office within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is not the point you wish to make, so long as it attains the objective you outlined in your testimony. Is that correct?

Mr. Asit. That is correct.
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Giaimo? Have you any questions?
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. McCord ?
Mr. McCORD. No.

Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Ash, thank you very much. I think you have pinpointed some very important problems that we are going to have to resolve the best we can.

Mr. Asii. Thank you.

Mr. O'HARA. My list of witnesses indicates Mr. Pryor, Mr. Cumling, and Mr. Jenkins are to testify next. I understand Mr. Cumling and Mr. Jenkins are representing the International Gerontological Association. Is Mr. Pryor present? Mr. Pryor, will you come forward, please?

Mr. Pryor. I regret that we only have one copy, we did not have time to make more. Should more be desired, we can get them to you early in the week.

Mr. O'HARA. That would be quite satisfactory. The transcript will be available in a few days, and the hearings will be printed within a reasonably short time.

Mr. Pryor, if you will identify yourself to the reporter, you may read your statement, or, if you prefer, summarize it.

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