Treatment Applications for Psychological and Behavioral Problems of the Elderly in Nursing Homes

  • Laura L. Carstensen
  • Jane E. Fisher
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


About 1.3 million elderly people currently live in some 18, 000 nursing homes in this country (Eustis, Greenberg, & Patten, 1984). Although this number represents only 5% of the population of elderly persons, it is misleading to think that nursing home placement is a concern for an insignificant portion of the aged population. Only 5% reside in nursing homes at any point in time, but the lifetime probability of placement in a nursing home is 25–30% (Lesnoff-Caravaglia, 1978–1979). That is, for those elderly who live into advanced old age, the odds of placement increase from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4. As the aging population steadily grows in size, with the “old-old” segment growing fastest, the absolute number of old people living in nursing homes will continue to increase well past the turn of the century. By 2050, if present trends continue, the number of institutionalized elderly people is expected to reach 5.2 million (Brody & Foley, 1985). There is no doubt that this group of physically frail elderly, has psychological problems that demand our attention, problems that present significant economic, social, and ethical dilemmas for families, caregivers, and professionals involved in their care.


Nursing Home Stimulus Control Nursing Home Resident Apply Behavior Analysis Paranoid Ideation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura L. Carstensen
    • 1
  • Jane E. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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