Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Senator McNAMARA. Thank you, Doctor. Your testimony is very

.

, helpful to the subcommittee, you can be sure. We appreciate very much having you here.

I notice that you make a very firm recommendation for increasing the $1,200 allowable income outside of social security. We have had varied testimony on this item. Do you find a substantial number of your people are able to earn up to $1,200 a year!

Dr. ANDRUS. It depends, Senator McNamara. Among the teaching group in some of the States there has been real liberalization of retirement. In the rural areas in the Deep South there is very much to be done. Just tragically this last week Governor Stratton revoked the bill that would give $100 to older people, teachers in Illinois.

So when you answer that it depends. Our group is a great group. But it is a group that we are trying to make a responsible group. We challenge our members and let them feel that they are still in the field, for we know if we want to make ourselves beautiful and sentimentally sad that is our privilege, but also our death warrant.

Senator McNAMARA. Doctor, I think there are some areas, I have in mind some big city such as Detroit where I have attended meetings of your people, where there is almost no employment after 65. I wondered how much of a problem it was. Maybe some of your associates would like to comment on that.

Dr. ANDRUS. Would you like to?

Mr. Davis. From our experience, particularly in the teaching profession, we do feel that the teachers have an opportunity in various endeavors because of their training to earn in excess of $1,200 a year. Now that teachers are covered by social security this becomes a deterrent toward their getting, because some of them are not even on the maximum social security which becomes even a further deterrent, the wage limitation.

If I might, Senator McNamara, I again would like to refer to the proposal that was submitted by Dr. Andrus before the Forand committee on the hospitalization for the aged. We have been studying this problem and have been pioneers in the problem of establishing a hospital-surgical-medical program for people over 65. We were the first to introduce such a program. We think that the solution to the problem of insuring the aged is basically a very simple one. The whole question is a question of dollars; what Forand is trying to do through his bill to provide an additional $6 a month in the form of social security benefits and then making it mandatory that each person take that and buy insurance benefits.

The recommendation of our group is certainly to increase social security benefits because they are now inadequate to meet the necessities of living of our people, but then allow them voluntarily to select, through the auspices of the social security deduction a program of hospital-surgical insurance which can provide the same benefits that the Forand bill will provide and provide it for the same dollars that the Forand bill will provide, or $6 per month on an optional basis. We also pointed out that though hospital-surgical is the greatest insurance need, it only covers one-third of the total medical costs of our people over 65 and that there are other areas that have to be covered. But that the simple answer to the problem is to establish through a payroll deduction from the social security annuities check an amount and allow them to buy with this amount a proper hospital-surgical plan on nationwide scale which will eliminate the high acquisition cost now built into private insurance plans and which would be similar to the program recently passed by the Senate for the Federal employees where they would have optional plans to select on a payroll deduction basis. The biggest problem in the aged problem is that the people have lost the opportunity of payroll deduction which is necessary for this insurance.

Senator McNAMARA. Thank you.
Dr. Andrus. Let me say something further.
Senator McNAMARA. Go ahead.

Dr. ANDRUS. I forgot that we definitely feel about the $1,200 limitation, I don't know if I spoke of that.

Senator McNAMARA. Thanks very much.
Very helpful.

STATEMENT OF GENEVA MATHIASEN, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,

NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE AGING

Senator McNAMARA. Next on our list is the National Committee on the Aging, Geneva Mathiasen, executive secretary.

Mrs. MATHIASEN. Senator McNamara, good morning.

I am here this morning because the chairman of our committee, Mr. G. Warfield Hobbs, who would normally represent the committee, is on holiday in South America and so he asked me to come and tell you briefly about the work of the National Committee on the Aging.

I have a brief statement prepared and it is supplemented by an explanatory pamphlet which I would put into the record, and therefore I will not consume too much time in talking about the committee and its program but merely stress one or two things, and then I would like to put in two or three ideas which I am sure Mr. Hobbs would have liked to have done if he had been here.

Senator McNAMARA. Yes. Will you see that the recorder has copies of the pamphlet? We will make it part of the record.

Mrs. MATHIASEN. Yes, thank you.

(The prepared statement of Geneva Mathiasen follows:) PREPARED STATEMENT OF GENEVA MATHIASEN, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, NATIONAL

COMMITTEE ON THE AGING It is a privilege to appear before this Senate committee on behalf of the National Committee on the Aging. Appended to this statement is a printed brochure entitled “The National Committee on the Aging—What It Is What It Does." I shall summarize here very briefly the committee's function and explain how it serves the country in the field of aging and what it sees as some of the most urgent needs.

WHAT THE COMMITTEE IS

The National Committee on the Aging is a central, national resource for planning, information, consultation, and materials. It is made up of 250 members representing the many interests and concerns of older people. One-fourth are from business and industry. The others are from organized labor, health professions, social work, the clergy, education, housing, research, Government, and State and local committees on the aging.

The National Committee on the Aging was organized at the request of communities, professional and civic groups, agencies of government and others who faced the pressing problems created by the growing number of older people in this country, and who recognized the need for more adequate planning and resources.

It was organized in 1950 as a standing committee of the National Social Welfare Assembly, a nonprofit organization. The committee's support comes primarily from foundations and the assembly. In 1956, the Ford Foundation made an allocation to strengthen and broaden the basic program and to expand the information and consultation services.

The professional staff now numbers 11 persons. Eight are employed in the basic ongoing program as follows: Executive secretary, administrative and research assistant, librarian, assistant librarian, consultant on community services, consultant on health, consultant on employment and retirement, and director of public information. In addition, there are three directors of special projects.

AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN TO THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE AGING

The chairman of the committee, Mr. G. Warfield Hobbs, is particularly concerned with the economic aspects of aging, and the fact that so far the industrial community both management and labor are not generally aware of the importance to the economy as well as the individual of maintaining a higher buying power in the population-65 and over.

Since the committee membership and staff represent broad areas of competence, they are well aware of the social, psychological, and health needs of older people as well as their economic needs. The committee has been concerned with assisting communities and organizations to develop programs which will enable older people to remain independent as long as possible, in the belief that for most older people this is their most cherished desire. The committee also continually collects reports of such programs. These reports indicate that thinking and action in the field of aging is moving forward. There is evidence of imagination, ingenuity, and resourcefulness on the part of many different kinds of individuals and organizations throughout the country. Programs indicate that we have some concept of the needs of older people and a vision of the network of services required to meet the needs. The fact remains, however, that there is not a community in the country that begins to provide this network of service in quality, or quantity to meet the need. Programs are spotty, and in many places, experimental, financed on short-term grants.

To meet the need, a community requires a plan and mobilization of all the necessary resources. This community mobilization and overall planning constitute the next major step if we are to make a serious attempt to meet basic needs of older people.

Planning of services alone is not enough, however. There must be plans for financing the services as well. This will have to be done at every level of government, by private philanthropy, and voluntary agencies the country over.

Recommendations for planning and action have already come from hundreds of national, regional, State, and local meetings and conferences on aging. Many more can be expected from the meetings preparatory to the White House Conference on Aging and the conference itself.

Unless these recommended programs are seen realistically in terms of cost and sources of financing, they will have very little practical result and may lead more to frustration than progress. The chairman of the National Committee on the Aging has frequently pointed out that old age is big business whether it is seen in the field of potential productivity of older workers, old-age and survivors benefits and private pension plans, health programs and care of the chronically ill, housing, or social services. For this as well as humanitarian reasons, the National Committee on the Aging is gratified to know of the thorough study being made by the distinguished members of this committee and its able staff.

COMMITTEE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

There are two basic aspects of the committee's work. The first is the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of information. The second is identifying significant service areas where there is lack of understanding or interest or standards, and to take the necessary steps to try to change the situation. Information and consultation service

This is the heart of the committee's program. With interest and activity developing as indicated in section I, community leaders seek information and guidance on many fronts. It is estimated that between the fall of 1956 and the end of 1959 the staff will have handled over 10,000 different requests for information and help.

As the information and consultation service has developed, the staff has been increasingly impressed by the increase in the amount of serious consultation requested as contrasted with earlier requests for information alone. Requests came from all 50 States except Alaska. In addition, requests came from 23 foreign countries and territories : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Holland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nova Scotia, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S.S.R. The library

The library collection now contains some 4,000 items. The emphasis in material is on the psychosocial and economic aspects of aging. Materials resulting from programs of government and voluntary organizations on local, State and National levels is particularly sought. National resource file

The office of the National Committee on the Aging has assembled a card index file of some 3,500 individuals and organizations, geographically filed. This is used extensively in making referrals to local sources of help, in planning regional meetings, giving help to other groups in planning conferences, in answering requests for information about organizations in the field, etc. Regional meetings

In order to stimulate interest and aid in developing local programs, the committee has conducted a series of regional meetings. The regional conferences held from 1957 to 1959, and their themes are listed below :

May 1957, Detroit, Mich.: “Older People and the Industrial Community.”

March 1958, Washington, D.C.: "Aging—A Total National Effort—Everybody's Future, Everybody's Responsibility."

June 1958, Portland, Oreg.: "Searchlight on Our Futures."

October 1958, Houston, Tex.: Southwestern Regional Conference on Aging. April 1959, St. Louis, Mo.: "The Later Years Independent and Productive.”

October 1959, Durham, N.C.: "Needs of Older People in Small Communi

ties and Rural Areas." Conference of national organizations

For some time the National Committee on the Aging has been aware of the significant potential contribution to the field of aging of a wide variety of national voluntary organizations. A conference of nonprofit national service organizations, which serve older people or who have the potential of doing so, was held in May 1959. The purpose of this conference was twofold: to stregthen the interest of the national organizations in older people, and to explore methods of extending their programs to serve this age group.

More than 200 representatives of major national organizations attended.

At the close of the meeting, the workshops recommended that similar conferences should be convened annually by the committee, and that they should be supplemented by institutes on such subjects as housing, social services, and health,

PUBLICATIONS The emphasis on publications under the Ford Foundation grant has been on pamphlets of a practical nature for selective distribution.

“Older People and the Industrial Community” is a resource for many kinds of programs of industry, unions, and the community related to employment, retirement, pensions, insurance, etc.

"Current Developments in Preparation for Retirement” was an attempt to answer the many requests for information on this subject of great current interest.

“Guide Lines for Community Organization in the Field of Aging" is a practical aid to communities of all sizes, with varying degrees of social organization.

“News Briefs and Staff Reports” is issued periodically by the consultant on employment and retirement. It goes, once a month, to about 1,000 persons half of whom are representatives of business and industry, others State employment office personnel, older worker specialists, members of State commissions on aging, labor representatives, etc. "News Briefs-Health Services Section” was inaugurated in 1959 to serve a similar function in the health field. These reports are brief, up-to-the-minute summaries of significant developments in these spe cialized fields.

Scheduled for September publication by F. W. Dodge Corp. is a major book on institutional care entitled “Planning a Home for the Aged.” It contains 11 chapters of text written by architects, administrators, and planners and is illustrated with designs from the architectural competition conducted by the National Committee on the Aging in cooperation with “Architectural Record" and “The Modern Hospital" under a grant from the Schimper Foundation.

“Standards of Care for Older People in Institutions” is a basic document in the field and is now in its third printing.

“Criteria for Retirement” and “Flexible Retirement,” published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, contain summaries of the best industrial experience in these fields and recommendations for further action.

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE

An international section of the committee was authorized by the executive committee in March 1959, and it is now being organized. Corresponding members will be asked to report on current events in the field of aging by mailing publications, published reports, speech material, books, and brochures to New York.

The most interesting and valuable data received from overseas will be digested and printed in an international edition of Progress Report every 6 months.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

There have been two distinct objects of the committee's work in public information. The first of these was to make the country aware of the National Committee on the Aging and the services it can offer. Through the use of wire services, syndicated columns, and feature writers, thousands of articles have been published in leading newspapers, mass circulation magazines, medium-sized daily newspapers, and small weeklies throughout the country.

The committee provides a regular flow of information to many magazines planning stories on aging, including Time, Life, The Rotarian, Hospitals, Today's Health, etc., and all periodicals specializing in the field of aging.

Increasingly, writers and researchers from national magazines and television studios rely on the staff and library for guidance and authenticity.

SPECIAL PROJECTS

In addition to this basic program, the committee has carried on special projects. These are in areas considered to be of primary importance, but which for one reason or another do not fall within the appropriate sphere of interest or activity of any other group. The first in the fields of retirement and sheltered care were referred to in connection with the committee's material.

At present the committee is engaged on three others. Standards for center and club program

Although clubs are the most prevalent, and multiservice centers probably the fastest growing program for older people in the country, they are being de veloped without any material to serve as a guide for standards. A publication to be available in late 1959 will suggest goals for architectural standards, philosophy and purpose, program, and staff for centers. The second year will work especially on standards for club programs and the implementation of standards. Utilization of older scientific and professional personnel

The purpose of this project is to explore the extent to which scientific and professional manpower is being wasted through retirement or unemployment of older personnel in these fields. The project is exploring this subject through professional associations, universities, and industrial management. It is financed by the Dorr Foundation. Guardianship and protective services

This project hopes to pave the way for an imaginative breakthrough in the legal aspects of dealing with older persons who cannot plan appropriately for themselves. Numerous studies show that considerable numbers of older persons in the country today cannot handle their own affairs, financial and otherwise, because of mental and physical deterioration.

According to the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, 80,000 bene ficiaries in the country today have been certified by physicians as incapable of managing their benefit money. In many instances commitment to a mental hospital is taken as the easy way out. However, the degree of mental and

« PředchozíPokračovat »