Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


The 1978 Amendments to the Older Americans Act called for the establishment of social planning, greater emphasis on the needs of the frail elderly (“those in greatest social and economic need”), the establishment of community “focal points” and “comprehensive and coordinated service delivery systems” in rural and urban communities. The amendments were implemented in the 1980 guidelines to Area Agencies on Aging. In this unpublished paper portions of which were presented at several conferences, a Guttman Scaling Technique developed in rural New York state was used to examine the development of aging services in 13 counties in North Central West Virginia. A 2019 postscript to this paper notes the “medicalization” of aging services since the original paper.

Source Citation

Earlier versions of portions of this paper were presented at the Sixth National Conference on Social Work in Rural Areas, Burlington VT, July, 1980 and at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Toronto, Canada, November, 1981. Includes a 2019 Postscript.



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