Medicine: Senile Statistics

In Gulliver's Travels, Swift describes the "struldbrugs," the unhappy old men & women who could not die but were "uncapable of friendship, and dead to all natural affection . . . The least miserable among them appear to be those who turn to dotage, and entirely lose their memories."

Year by year in the U.S., there are more & more old people. At 65, the average American white man still has twelve years and eight months to live; the average 65-year-old woman has 14½ years.

More & more U.S. old folks are ending up in mental institutions. In 1922, only 9,229 patients over...

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