« PreviousContinue »
Ansel, Hon. Julius, ward 14, State representative, Great and General
Court of Massachusetts
American Nursing Home Association --
Federation of Nursing Homes
of Massachusetts --
commission on administration and finance, Commonwealth of Massa-
Hewitt, Anna P., Golden Age Club, North Providence, R.I.--
Kenefick, Archie, State representative---
Magliano, Nick, business agent, Amalgamated Clothing Workers, Boston,
Zammitti, Salvatore, Somerville, Mass
from Science of November 3, 1961 -
Hospital, Detroit, Mich., containing broadcasts given over stations
in New York and San Francisco..
partment, Boston University School of Medicine, dated December
Industrial Union, Boston, Mass., dated December 4, 1961.---
Maine Association of Nursing Homes
IUE, AFL-CIO, at regular monthly meeting held at West Lynn,
Revision, effective January 1, 1961.-
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1961
Boston, Mass. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in the Gardner Auditorium, statehouse, Senator Benjamin A. Smith presiding.
Present: Senator Benjamin A. Smith and Senator Leverett Saltonstall.
Committee staff members present: Dr. Frank Atelsek, research director; Frank C. Frantz, professional staff member; and Edith Robins, professional staff member.
Senator SMITH. The public hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging will please come to order.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome all of you to this subcommittee hearing of the Senate Committee on Aging:
The Special Committee on Aging was established last February by a Senate resolution which called for a year of study and information gathering on the full range of problems of our older citizens. The resolution also charges us with making reports of our findings and recommendations to the Congress next year.
To do this job the committee has scheduled more than 30 hearings in all parts of the country this fall. These subcommittee hearings are inquiring into four subject areas: retirement income, housing for the elderly, nursing home care, and Federal and State activities in the field of aging.
When these hearings are completed, the committee will have the most extensive collection of up-to-date information ever assembled on the problems of the aging and the aged. The record of testimony and discussion will be studied by the committee members and the staff, and will form the basis for our reports and recommendations to the Congress.
The hearing this morning is on the subject of nursing homes. We will hear from public officials concerned with nursing home services, representatives of nursing homes, and from other experts who have special knowledge of problems in this field.
This is not at all an investigation of nursing homes in Massachu- . setts. We hope to learn of the progress that has been made and the goals that have been set in expanding and improving nursing home care in the Commonwealth. We expect that this information will be of interest to other States which have the same kinds of problems. And the experience of other States where we are having hearings on nursing homes will be of interest to us here in Massachusetts. The results of these hearings, taken together, may point to some ways in
which Federal programs may help advance nursing home care in this country.
The nursing home has an increasingly important role to play in the whole complex of medical and related services to older people. It is in this kind of institution that much of the new knowledge in geriatrics and in restorative medicine can be made to benefit people of advanced years who suffer from long-term or chronic illnesses. The problems that must be solved before nursing homes can fulfill their potential in this role are nationwide and extremely urgent. They are deserving of our most careful study and diligent efforts.
I would like to announce at this time that Senator Saltonstall will be here later on this morning and he, too, is extremely interested in this great problem that faces this Nation today.
There will be one change in our schedule of appearances of witnesses due to the fact that Dr. Taubenhaus has an important engagement in a classroom at Harvard this morning: Our first witness, then, will be Dr. Leon J. Taubenhaus, director of the Brookline Health Department.
Doctor, it is a great pleasure to have you with us this morning.
STATEMENT OF DR. LEON J. TAUBENHAUS, DIRECTOR, BROOKLINE
Dr. TAUBENHAUS. Thank you, Senator. If I may, I would like to read my statement, sir, because it is brief and then I will be glad to answer any questions you may wish to ask.
Senator SMITH. Thank you.
Dr. TAUBENHAUS. I am Dr. Leon Taubenhaus, director of public health for the town of Brookline, Mass., and lecturer on public health practice at the Harvard School of Public Health. The testimony I am about to give is based on the knowledge and experience I have gained as a local health officer with an active interest in the field of nursing homes.
In the town of Brookline, which I represent, nursing homes are a major public health concern. Although we are a community of about 54,000 people, 16.5 percent are age 65 or older. We have more people above age 65 than we have children in our public schools. Proprietary nursing homes are a major industry in our otherwise residential community. We have 27 licensed nursing homes with a total of 698 beds. More than half of our nursing home patients come from other communities, and more than half are recipients of public welfare.
It is only natural then, that our health department is interested in nursing homes. When I first entered the field of public health, I believed more stringent regulations were all that were needed to improve nursing home care. I now know that I was wrong. Regulations are, of course, important, but one cannot enforce a high level of nursing home care by regulation alone. I have found that many proprietary nursing home operators would like to raise the level of care, but they do not have the training nor resources to do this. I feel that to raise standards of nursing home care, one must mobilize community resources to assist the nursing homes in this task.