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an escalator and let it ride into outer space. We now are far beyond the legal debt limit set by the Congress, but fancy bookkeeping and IBM machines take care of it. It is sure to jump again before any of you gentlemen run for reelection.
My point is that the only practical answer to every governmental problem is more money. I assume, of course, that it will be expended judiciously and not wasted. But you have congressional committees to look into that phase, so we can forget it. As for today's hearing, I contend that if more money is spent on the aged, whether inside or outside nursing homes, that money is well spent. The more we spend on the aged, the less they will need nursing home care.
Far too many of the elderly who are now confined in nursing homes are there because of ill health brought on by financial worries and lack of proper medical attention. With psychiatric visits running as high as $25 a shot, these people are not likely to spend much time on a couch, only to be told that all of their worries are in their imaginations. With sufficient income, scores of thousands of present-day patients in nursing homes throughout the country would be living in health and dignified security outside these homes. I trust that I have left the thought with the committee that the overall answer to your problem is a national pension, based on what is necessary in order to live in comfort, as befits every good American citizen on reaching the age at which he, alone, feels that he should retire.
I do not concur with the widely held idea of compulsory retirement at any arbitrary age. Some men are practically senile at 40. Others are young at 90. Your former tennis-playing colleague, the distinguished Senator from Rhode Island, is a good example. The wealthiest man in Massachusetts has an active and vigorous mind at 100. Years
I told him he was sure to reach par. He doesn't even worry over his income tax. You can imagine what would happen if Congress passed a law forcing him to retire because he was over the century mark. Compulsion of any kind is abhorrent to every American. It is not consistent with a freedom-loving people. A national pension might do more for our world prestige than a hundred Geneva conferences. Thank you.
Senator SMITH. Thank you, Mr. McMasters.
STATEMENT OF HAROLD L. NILES, PRESIDENT, COMMONWEALTH
HOUSING FOUNDATION, BOSTON, MASS.
Mr. Niles. Gentlemen, my name is Harold L. Niles, real estate. I am now interested in developing more housing for the elderly in Roxbury. We have completed a project like that with private charitable funds and it is completely occupied by elderly colored people.
For the sake of time, I would be perfectly willing to leave this to be recorded.
Senator SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Niles. Your statement will be made part of the record.
(The prepared statement of Mr. Niles follows) :
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HAROLD L. NILES
My name is Harold L. Niles and I am a realtor. I am president of the board of trustees of the Commonwealth Housing Foundation, a member of the board of directors of Senior Living, Inc., and director of many private and charitable organizations. The Commonwealth Housing Foundation is the sponsoring agent of the Ada Hinton Apartments, 85 Dale Street, Roxbury, a nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonracial, nonpublic project to house elderly of limited income. A grant from the Home for Aged Colored Women through the Commonwealth Housing Foundation made it possible to make 24 apartments of 142 to 21/2 rooms available to senior citizens of low income. The apartments were named for the late Ada Hinton, widow of Dr. William Hinton, Harvard professor and creator of the famed Hinton tests, who was long active as a board member of the Home for Aged Colored Women.
I would like to stress the importance of the role of nonprofit charitable agencies desiring to construct housing for the elderly. Unless the authorizing agencies within the States are lenient in granting characters to such organizations to carry out this purpose, there will be considerable delay in securing the tax status and necessary funds from donors to construct such low-rent housing and this will work a hardship on the elderly of low income. These nonprofit charitable organizations have a great impact in assisting minority families at the lowest rung of the economic ladder and who are in need of this type of housing as well as public housing.
May I quote the administrator of the Ada Hinton Apartments, Frank W. Morris, who is also a trustee of the Commonwealth Housing Foundation. According to Mr. Morris the development has operated successfully for 1 year at rents ranging from $50 to $65 per month including heat, hot water, and cooking, janitor and elevator service. The cost of electricity is borne by the tenant. This development has been commended by Commissioner Weaver and many local planning and rehabilitation experts. It is the single example of private rehabilitation at this time in the Washington Park Renewal Area.
It is my recommendation that the establishment of private, nonprofit charitable corporations, to deal specifically with the problem of housing for elderly of low income, will go far toward easing the economic and social problems of our senior citizens. There is a need for public and private housing of this nature.
STATEMENT OF DR. EDWARD L. YOUNG, BROOKLINE, MASS., VICE
CHAIRMAN, PHYSICIANS FORUM, NEW YORK, N.Y. Dr. Young. Mr. Chairman, I am Dr. Edward L. Young, a practicing surgeon of Brookline and vicinity and also one of the officials of the national organization headed in New York which is attempting to improve medical care.
I particularly want to speak in relation to the attempts that I have made over the years to get patients into nursing homes, my studies of the nursing homes, and what I think could be done to improve the situation. I did not know of this until too late to prepare a statement. I would be glad to send it in later if you wish.
First, I think the nursing homes should all be rated in regard to what they can give to patients in regard to health, nursing care, medical care, and rehabilitation. That is not done at the present time; we have to choose too blindly unless we have previous knowledge of the nursing home.
I think, too, because a large number of the inmates of these homes are on old-age assistance or some form of charitable help, that there should be a rating of those homes in regard to this, particularly because in a certain number of them, as you know, the patients are so close they have hardly room to breathe. There are other homes where there is an attempt to do a good job, make less profit, but are paid the same sum. I think there should be a rating for that.
I think the most important part of the whole subject of nursing homes is the fact that we have to have established sooner or later nursing homes for nonprofit. That is one of the most important things, I believe, that is necessary and must come.
A great help to us also would be to establish the ownership of these homes just as the ownership of periodicals has to be by law and just as hospitals have to put down their costs and make that public, so I think nursing homes should have the same obligation to do the same thing. There are good nursing homes but I think the vast majority of nursing homes with which I have come in contact in this State-I will not say the State because it is only around Boston that I have had personal contact—are not nursing homes that I would want to live in and many of them are not nursing homes that I would even send a patient to even if they cannot pay for a good nursing home. Thank you very much.
(The prepared statement of Dr. Young follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF DR. EDWARD L. Young
I am Dr. Edward L. Young, a physician practicing in the Boston area, who often has occasion to put patients in nursing homes. I want to report on the difficulties that I have met, and I think all my colleagues meet, in finding a suitable home. I also wish to make suggestions for changes that will help.
I also represent the Physicians Forum, a national organization of physicians whose objective is the improvement of medical care.
The advances in medical knowledge have made it possible for more of our citizens to reach 65, and on the other hand, the economic changes have made it much more difficult for these old people to be cared for at home. If an individual has plenty of money, and most of them do not, the difficulties can be overcome relatively easily. I am concerned about, and speaking here of those with limited income, particularly of those whose expenses are paid for in whole or in part by public funds.
It is difficult to know the important facts that we wish to know about a nursing home in order to place the patient where he or she can be best cared for. The following facts should be matters of public record :
(1) How many patients are accommodated in what size homes.
(2) See that there is nursing supervision all of the time by a registered or practical nurse.
(3) How easily are medical facilities obtained when necessary.
(4) Is there a good liaison with the physician who referred the patient or the institution from which that patient came.
(5) What, if any, means of rehabilitation are there for those cases where it is indicated.
If these things were a matter of public record it would help very much in lacing a patient.
Of those nursing homes that do accept patients being paid for by public funds there are certain ones, the percentage of which I do not know, but I think very large, where there is no attempt to do anything for the patient. They are crowded in as closely as possible and where actually there is nothing for them to do but sit and wait to die. These are a disgrace and there should be some way in which they could be eliminated or at least their actions publicized. There are other nursing homes where there is an honest attempt to help the patient. Both of these types of homes are paid the same sum by public funds. I think there should be some way in which a differential in payment could be made. As a taxpayer I hate to see my money go in part to the first type of nursing home.
I believe there should be a public record of the ownership of nursing homes. They are almost all proprietary and exist for the purpose of making money for the owners, and where they are as much of a disgrace as many of them certainly are I think we should know where to put the blame in every instance.
The cost of the nursing home should be a matter of public record. I mean by that, the statement of expenses involved in running the home, so that anyone who wished could compare it with the cost to the patient.
But, above all things what is most needed is the establishment of nonprofit nursing homes, either connected with hospitals and run by the same board of trustees or developed in the same way and run by competent oversight. Until we get these I believe that we will always have the problem of poor nursing homes and because they are becoming more and more necessary I believe that sooner or later, nonprofit homes will have to be established and, if eventually why not now.
Senator SMITH. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF LOIS TOWNSEND, SUPERVISOR, SAVIN STREET
UNIT, BOSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT, BOSTON, MASS. Miss TOWNSEND. I am Lois Townsend, supervisor from the Boston City Hospital in the Savin Street area. We are concerned with the quality of the nursing homes and the quality of any service that is for the benefit of our citizens. We are handicapped by the lack of personnel and by the lack of those who are specifically trained in this particular field. We are doing our very best to study these conditions, we are doing our very best to remedy some of the conditions that the doctor speaks about. We do know that they exist but it is not because we are not aware of it and it is not because we are not willing to work and not willing to try. My nurses have a great field which they must cover and this is a generalized program.
To get down to practical facts in this matter, it is almost impossible for us to make an inspection of nursing homes any more often than once a year, and usually it is once every 2 years at the time that the license is up for renewal. We do make investigations on complaint of anything going wrong but again we say that we realize this is not adequate and that we do need more personnel if we are to do our part of it. We are glad to go on record as being interested in the quality of the care that these people are getting within the nursing homes. Thank you very much.
Senator SMITH. Thank you very much, Miss Townsend.
At this time I would like to call on Mr. Paul G. O'Friel who is a member of the Massachusetts Council for the Aging. We had requested his presence here this morning and he was unable to be here. He has just recently served as moderator at Boston College on "The Problems of the Mature Worker."
STATEMENT OF PAUL G. O'FRIEL, MEMBER, MASSACHUSETTS
COUNCIL FOR THE AGING
Mr. O'FRIEL. Thank you, Senator Smith.
. Discrimination against older workers is becoming an ever more serious problem in our economy today. Many thousands of business firms have either written or unwritten policies against hiring older workers. In some cases the age limit is set as high as 55 but in others it is far below that.
A few years ago the U.S. Bureau of Employment Security made a survey of job openings in seven labor markets across the country. Forty-one percent of these jobs had age barriers set at 45. For 25 percent of them these jobs actually were down as low as 35. In Massachusetts there is a law on the books that prohibits discrimination in employment because of age but that is not easy to enforce.
The major accomplishment to date has been the elimination of age specifications in help wanted ads and employments. There is no doubt that a worker over 40 still has a big strike on him when he goes to look
for a new job. Some jobs do require great physical stamina and these cannot be filled by older workmen, but mechanization has continually tripled the volume of this type of work.
Unfortunately, there remains a tendency toward the Charles Atlas type man for jobs that can be adequately filled by mature but less muscular men. It is doubtful how long we can afford this without serious economic trouble. According to the U.S. Labor Department, America's labor market will increase by 131/2 million persons between 1960 and 1970. During the decade 16 million people now working will be lost due to death, retirement, and other causes. Entering the job field will be an estimated 29 million new workers, 26 million of whom have had no previous experience. Because of the low birth rate of the 1930's there is going to be an actual decrease in the number of workers in the prime age bracket 35 to 44.
Now, what we are going to have to do then is have an uneven spread of our workers. There will be a large group of untrained workers at the bottom and roughly 40 percent of the work force will be in the upper age bracket, 45 and over. All these figures add up double to that. We will have to stop our present practice of age discrimination
. in employment.
The most tragic part of this shortage is that it will be strictly artificial. The job future of our growing number of older workers is important to the economy in another way, too. If these people have jobs and continue to draw paychecks, they will remain consumers of our national product, steady users of our services. If they cannot find work, they will become dependent upon savings, the earnings of their children, and very likely on public welfare funds. Even today there are a large number of older workers among the hard core of unemployed who live on general relief funds. All they can look forward to at age 65 is moving on to old-age assistance. Instead of contributing to the economy, these older workers without jobs reluctantly become drains upon it.
. The U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Manufacturers, and some labor groups have done important research in the field. This shows that hiring qualified older workers for many jobs is a sound and profitable management policy. This fact must be stressed over and over again.
We have been doing this in our current editorial, highlight it more in some of the programing that we plan. The reaction to this has been tremendous. Just this morning this came across my desk, which is typical of the letters that we have received:
Regarding your program on the senior citizen which we heard last week, since that time this senior citizen has made application for employment at more than 20 establishments advertising for help in various newspapers. I am 60 years of age and in good physical condition with fair education and good character, sober and industrious, with the responsibility of a wife. I am a veteran of World War I, discharged honorably as a sergeant major. I have never applied to anybody for aid in my life. I have always been self-confident and selfreliant, but I am becoming so frustrated, always being shunted away with “We will call you” that I am almost desperate.
So, sir, I am making this appeal to you to see if you can find or help me find a job, a job of any kind that will help me keep my small home together. If you will grant me the time out of what must be a busy schedule to grant me an interview, I am sure I would be able to show you the undeniable fact that age is the only thing keeping me from securing employment.
My undying thanks and prayers for any courtesy you may be able to extend.