Medicine: Exploiting the Aged

Some nations, like the Scandinavian countries, take good care of their aged. But not the U.S., where about a million American elderly spend their last years in nursing homes. In these homes, says Mary Adelaide Mendelson, a Cleveland community-planning consultant who has spent the past ten years investigating the nursing-home industry, they are often ignored, sometimes mistreated and generally exploited. Despite the $3.5 billion in federal, state and private funds that are poured into U.S. nursing homes each year, she writes in her recently published book Tender Loving Greed (245 pages; Knopf; $6.95), conditions in many homes are so bad that...

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