themselves. Not surprisingly, a disproportionate number (74.6 percent) of nursing home
patients are very old, white, female, and without spouse (Special Committee on Aging, 1985).
The economic implications of an aging population are obvious. If limits are not set, Callahan predicts that health care expenditures for the elderly will exceed $200 billion
by the year 2000. By 2040, he predicts that pension and health programs will account for
14.5 percent of the GNP and 60.4 percent of the Federal budget, respectively ( 1987,
Childress does not make this argument with respect to older women in particular.
He makes it with respect to all older persons.
3 Furthermore, some social changes designed to benefit women economically have
actually worked to their detriment. "No-fault divorce looked like a civilized way for equal
adults to deal with marital incompatibility. [Yet] its implementation has cut adrift millions of middle-aged and elderly housewives who had every right to believe they had
been guaranteed a comfortable home for life. Well-meaning efforts to reform welfare
failed miserably to lead single mothers out of poverty" ( Bergmann, 1986, 300).
Aging America: Trends and projections. 1983. US Senate Special Committee on Aging (in
conjunction with AARP). Washington, DC.
America in transition: An aging society. 1985. US Senate Special Committee on Aging. Washington, DC. 99-B.
A profile of older Americans -- 186. American Association of Retired Persons. Washington, DC.
Bergmann, Barbara. 1986. The economic emergence of women. New York: Basic Books.
Butler, R. N. 1975. Why survive? Being old in America. New York: Harper and Row.
Callahan, Daniel. 1987. Setting limits: Medical goals in an Aging society. New York: Simon
Childress, James E 1984. Ensuring care, respect, and fairness for the elderly. The Hastings
Center Report 14(5): 27-31.
Day, Alice T. 1984. Who cares? Demographic trends challenge family care for the elderly. Populations Trends and Public Policy. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau,
Elder abuse reports are growing in SC. 1988. The State. Columbia, SC. June 5. Long term
care: A review of the evidence. 1986. University of Minnesota, School of Public Health: Division of Health Services.
May, William. 1982. Who cares for the elderly? The Hastings Center Report 12(6): 31-37. Projections of the population of the US by age, sex and race: 1983-2080. Washington, DC: US Bureau of the Census. Series P-25, 952.
Reskin, Barbara and
H. Hartmann, eds. 1986. Women's work, men's work. Washington,
DC: National Academy Press.
Waldo, Daniel and
H. Lazenby. 1984. "Demographic characteristics and health care use
and expenditures by the aged in the US: 1977-1984". Health Care Financing Review 6(1).
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Other within Us:Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging.
Contributors: Marilyn Pearsall - Editor.
Publisher: Westview Press.
Place of publication: Boulder, CO.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 159.
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