Medicine: Day Care Centers for the Old

Doctoring and dignity for the partly disabled

A year ago Charles Crandall, 73, was spending most of his days staring at the walls of his San Francisco apartment, subsisting on solitary meals eaten out of cans. Crippled by a childhood bout with polio and suffering from heart disease, he seemed destined for a nursing home. Had that been his fate, he says, "I don't think I would be living now." Instead, California social services agencies enrolled him in a new kind of program for the elderly that allowed him to continue living in his...

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