Can't Afford to Grow Old

Narrated and hosted by Walter Cronkite

The reality of aging in America is that there is no help in paying for a nurse or a housekeeper if you become disabled and need assistance. All your family can do is place you in a nursing home, and only after your money runs out will the government pay the bills.

This film features several families eager to keep their elderly relatives at home, who have simply exhausted their physical and financial resources. Every year, up to one million Americans are forced into poverty by the cost of long-term care, and only then do they qualify for Medicaid, the state and federal health insurance program for the very poor.

This cogent analysis of the impact of aging on America's strained health care system combines poignant human stories with informed testimony by lawmakers and public policy experts. The debate centers around whether the government or the private sector should ultimately pay for long-term care. We are shown innovative programs, one private and one publicly funded, that give seniors some options as they experience frailty in old age.

This landmark film clearly illustrates the crisis facing all Americans as they and their parents age. It should be seen by students and professionals in health care, gerontology, social service, and public policy, as well as by the general public.


American Society on Aging Festival, 1991
Special Achievement, Retirement Research Foundation, 1990
Silver Award, John Muir Medical Film Festival, 1990
Winner, HeSCA Media Awards, 1990
Best in Category, Birmingham International Film Festival, 1990
Bronze Apple, National Educational Film & Video Festival, 1990
National Council on Aging, 1990
Mid America Conference on Aging, 1990
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, 1990


"Recommended. "
"’Landers Films & Video Reviews

"Can't Afford to Grow Old sounds an alarm bell."
"’The New York Times

"A quality program that deserves to be seen and discussed. Highly recommended for college and public library collections." * * * *
"’Video Rating Guide

"Informative and thought provoking... should be seen in its entirety without interruption."
"’The Gerontologist


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