~~~~~~~44~~* America’s Most Beautiful WEDDING INVITATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS EXCLUSIVE NEW DESIGNS 5-DAY SERVICE ALSO Imprinted Christmas Cards 15% Off ‘Tit Oct. 1 FUTURA PRESS, INC. 1714 South Congress HI 2-8682 #44~4P4W494P4P4NPNIP4W’e4P memory is a characteristic symptom of senility, as well as loss of sphincter or bladder control, or the hardening of the arteries. Even the slowing down of one’s reflexes, or decreased visual perception, is a symptom of senility, Middleton says. And, most important, these symptoms are generally “not amenable to psychiatric treatment.” Of course, there are senile persons who are psychotic as well. The problem of the senile in mental hospitals is summed up by Middleton: The philosophy behind Texas’ mental hospitals is that the patient is curable. “The day the patient enters, we begin asking his correspondent \(whoever is responsible for the pacilities will be awaiting the patient when he is curednot IF he’s cured, but simply WHEN.” Of course there are incurable patients, but the hospital’s dominant philosophy is that most patients will progress. But the senile patient is a contradiction to such a philosophy. “We can’t expect the aging processes responsible for the senile’s problems to reverse themselves,” Middleton says. “Up to now we haven’t discovered any fountain of youth. This type of person need not be in a mental hospital at all. He can best be cared for in his own environment. If this is impossible, you substitute an environmentin the form of a nursing home, for example. These people get along better in a nursing home.” Low Salaries Nursing homes was one of the solutions offered by Dr. Ruilmann before the Committee on Saving Taxes. He argued that the re admission rate in state hospitals is about 35 per cent, rather than the desired 15 to 20 per cent. The high rate of re-admission is due to the lack of adequate facilities in the communities to which the aged can return for help with their special problems. Hence, as well as adequate nursing homes, Dr. Ruilmann suggests an increased field staff as essential. The urgent need of social workers is reiterated by Middleton, who lost four from his staff this month. “These were all good peoplecollege graduates, carefully screened. They have left us to receive fellowships elsewhere in the country.” Eventually, he said, they would have chances for salaries “three or four times as much as the $306 we pay them.” One of the problems the ad hoc committee faces is whether to advocate the state’s going into the nursing home business or alternatively, to encourage senile patients to go into private homes. Some members of the committee feel that a state nursing home system would present more problems than it could salve. This is the attitude of Gov. Price THE AGED SENILES: Daniel, who in 1959 vetoed appropriations of $1,216,000 for a rest home for the aged, similar to the present Confederate Home in Austin, which houses 800 men. Middleton feels that Daniel was right in applying the veto. “The men in the Confederate Home have to have been mental patients to be admitted. The average man over there has spent 18 years in a mental hospital. We don’t need more ‘warehouses’ such as the Confederate Home. We aren’t trying to build new buildings, but to staff and equip our present buildings better.” It is a vicious circle. Aged persons are admitted into state hospitals which are already understaffed and underequipped, requiring time and money that could be spent on patients who, because of the inadequate care available to them, will someday fill a “warehouse” such as the Confederate Home. Middleton argues that the solution lies not in building more warehouses, but in lifting the burden of the non-psychotic senile patients from the hospitals. Homes Inadequate But simply placing these senile patients in existing nursing homes is no solution either, Herbert Shore argues in a recent letter to the Dallas Morning News. Shore, a member of the steering committee of the Governor’s Committee on Aging, writes: “Senility resulting in the inability of the person to cope with his environment and loss of functions requires help . . . . The Senate Committee on Aging in 1960 found .. . 2,363 nursing home beds in the state out of 10,497 \(approximately able and substandard. “The willy-nilly transfer of the aged to nursing homes merely shifts responsibility the state has assumed and does not improve care . . . . It presently costs the state approximately $117 per month to care for the patient in the State Hospital, yet \(it is being $73 per month in the nursing home \(% of that grant in federal Shore says the senile patient, as such, is not eligible for the state’s vendor medical payment program. He stresses a crucial factor: the poverty of the senile patients who are admitted to the mental hospitals. According to the August edition of TSWA Highlights, published by the Texas Social Welfare Association, “About 90 per cent of persons over age 64 who were admitted to the state mental hospitals during the reporting year 196061 came from the seven per cent of the aged people in Texas who received neither Old Age Assistance or Social Security benefits . . . . Thus the largest number of elderly persons in the state hospitals had no steady source of income adequate for their needs, and no services were available to them outside an institutional setting. “Their physical health was also a crucial factor in admission to the hospitals; 17 per cent of all aged persons admitted to the mental hospitals in this year died in the hospital. This rate is three times that of the general population in the same age group. Patients who died had been diagnosed most frequently as chronic brain syndrome. . . .” This term connotes a brain condition usually resulting from senility. The TWSA also says that the elderly people in mental hospitals showed “a high degree of social isolation . . . . These, then, are people with small financial resources and no immediate family ties.” Family Problem Almost everyone who talked to the Observer was hesitant to place the blame on families of the senile who in many cases are responsible for having them committed. And persons familiar with the problem say that it is usually unfair to the families to expect them to solve it by taking the senile patient back. “Many of the families from which these patients come just cannot afford the cost of keeping grandpa around, when he cannot work,” says Middleton. “Too, grandpa is often embarrassing, especially if there are adolescents growing up around him. The granddaughter brings her date home to meet the folks, and grandpa, who has gradually lost control of his bladder, say, creates a terribly embarrassing and traumatic experience for the girl. The only solution is to take the old fellow somewhere else.” What is the solution to the problem of the non-psychotic senile patient in our mental hospitals? Answers varied, and the decision of the ad hoc committee has yet to be presented. But one attitude seems predominant: the senile person must be gotten out of a state hospital if he is not amenable to psychiatric treatment and and is not in need of emergency medical treatment. Shore believes in the necessity, however, of having adequate facilities available to the oldsters when they are discharged or furloughed. “We need a program of subsidy to the aged senile so that he can purchase decent, care in nursing homes. We cannot continue to expect the proprietary and voluntary home to subsidize the state by assuming the burden of care. “We need to modernize our guardianship laws to assist the older person needing protective care. We need to correct ordinances prohibiting the care of the mentally ill in rest homes in certain neighborhoods.” State Program? Middleton feels that the ideal solution would be a foster home program sponsored by the state. “A lot of families wouldn’t mind housing an elderly person, if they received a certain amount from the state which would pay his expenses. They would even enjoy having him around,” he says. Such an arrangement would overcome, perhaps,the most formidable difficulty the aged senile person now faces, says Middleton: that of loneliness and confusion caused by his uprooting from family and community. It is a difficulty which even an adequatelystaffed and equipped nursing home cannot surmount. A partial solution also rests in encouraging individual counties to provide facilities especially for the senile. Most counties have no facilities of this kind at all. And these in Austin being the best in the state, the temptation to send the elder person there results in his uprooting from a familiar environment, which alone is enough to cause extreme depression and despair in the patient. C.D. \(Continued from Page duce that impoverished minds and purified vocabularies will help America win the battle against communism. And one wonders where the subversion truly lies.” He cites several Texas examples: the offer of a school superintendent in a town near Houston to burn a book because a John Birch Society member had objected to its treatment of Plato; the temporary removal of several books from libraries in Midland, Amarillo, and Odessa; Haley’s attacks on Boller; objections by Texans for America to references in texts to Sherwood Anderson, Maxwell Anderson, Stephen Vincent Benet, Ralph Bunche, Albert Einstein, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill, Willa Cather, Carl Sandburg “and many more.” What the censors are really preaching, Griffin concludes, is that “delinquency is the product of art and subversion is the product of truth.” ‘Any Other Tyranny Writes Dobie: “Censorship is never to let people know but always to keep them in ignorance; never to bring light but always to darken. It is and for thousands of years has been a main force used by dictators and all manner of tyrannical governments, from Nero to Khrushchev . . . . “An individual can be a patriot and still have an idea of Americanismor even of Russianismdif ferent from the idea of a censor. Any person who imagines he has a corner on the definition or the conception of Americanism and wants to suppress all conceptions to the contrary is a bigot and an enemy to the people. A government in accordance with the principles of such an individual who fancies he knows it all would be no better than any other tyranny. . . . “The Textbook Committee of the State of Texas is now dominated by Educationistsexecutives in public schools. Most of them are politician-minded. Few of them read anything beyond Chamber of Commerce proceedings and Readers’ Digest waterings. The Textbook Committee should have more educated people on it. They can be found in schools and they don’t all have to come from universities. I do not think it would be fatal to have teachers of cultivated minds and tastes pass on readers and histories with the idea that the books should be readable. . . .” Dawson, elder statesman of the Baptist Church, writes: “Charges of alleged political bias often are made by those who resist change, those who are determined to maintain the status quo. More often than not they wish to obscure knowledge of what has happened in their own nation and fear to let others know the facts about new political systems elsewhere. One such person offered the law school of my university a million dollars provided it would agree not to teach any decisions of the United States Supreme Court rendered after the advent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt! How different is the appeal of the American Bar Association to our schools to teach the full truth about communism and our system.” Western Civilization Wardlaw argues: “I simply don’t believe in the existence of this conspiracy among the people who make our text books. The textbooks which our children use are sometimes dull, occasionally inaccurate, and frequently innocuous, which is probably traceable to the desire of the publishers to please everybody, but they aren’t subversive. If I am wrong, and this conspiracy exists, it is too subtle for me to graspand it is completely ineffectual. I regard as a baseless slander the charge that our young people no longer love their country. They are just as patriotic as they were in my youthand vastly better informed. “We are the heirs of Western civilization, and our national character, culture, and achievements are a blend of elements derived from many lands. Furthermore, like it or not, our destiny is inextricably tied up with that of the other peoples of the world, and it is desperately important that we understand them; this is simply enlightened self-interest. We should never lose sight of our own glorious heritage, but it will be fatal if we forget that we are ‘involved in mankind.’ ” The Dallas News’ Tinkle writes: “What goes on between a man a nd the revelation in a book is a solitary thing, one of the few re maining private experiences in cur outrageously publicly organized lives. It is by this private experience that the book forms and shapes the most precious heritage of the democratic experience, the responsible individual conscience.” Mossner writes: “In education, as in everything else in life, to compromise with the petty likes and dislikes of everyone can lead only to the worst sort of mediocrity. True education, on the contrary, is the development of the mind to think accurately, individually, and courageously. This is the opposite of the indoctrination of Soviet teaching, which does, however, have a certain curious parallel with the desires of some of our self-appointed censors.” ‘Last, Best Hope’ An editor’s preface explains that Boller’s statement “is couched in personal terms, as the attack SMU historian rebuts: “The ideals that animate me politically are the ideals of the Fdunding Fathers of this country, particularly those of Thomas Jefferson: freedom of speech, thought, inquiry, and conscience; honesty and candor in expressing one’s opinions; decency and tolerance in human relations; rationality and fair-mindedness in considering the views of others. These are the ideals I had in mind when tracing the developments of the United States in This Is Our Nation. A nation inspired by Jefferson’s lofty principles, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out many years
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.