Prior to the Civil War, the small percentage of Americans who were elderly lived on the margins of society. Uncared-for poor elderly persons could be placed in poor-houses. Achenbaum discusses the evolution, through veteran's benefits, Social Security, corporate and union pension plans, and Medicare to a society where the care and well-being of the elderly are among the most important legal issues of the day.
Achenbaum, W. Andrew
"From the Margins to Pacesetting: The Place of the Elderly in U.S. Legal History From a Historian's Perspective,"
Marquette Elder's Advisor:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/elders/vol7/iss1/6