The need for community social services to enable older persons to remain in their homes has been well documented (Gold, 1974; Lohman, 1978; Atchley, 1977; Blenkner, 1977). Inspite of a growing service industry and professional corps of helpers, it does not reach the growing numbers of elderly, especially the older-elderly who are most likely to be frail (Gold, 1974; Lohmann, 1978; Heyman and Polansky, 1977). The aged share of the population has grown relative to the younger age group. In 1900, 6.4% of the U. S. population was 60 years or older; in 1975, it had increased to 14.8% (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1976). The ratio of older "dependents" to those in their productive years, age 20-59, has also increased. In 1900, those 60 and over to the younger group were 13 in every 100; in 1975, the number was 29 to 100, with predictions that the growth will continue (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1976).
"Informal Support Systems for the Aged: Limitations and Issues,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol5/iss6/3