The general concept of aging usually includes recognition of the fact that the good health of earlier years will suffer some impairment in the later years of life. Epidemiological reports which represent limited but impeccable studies can do much to counteract misconceptions regarding the increasing number of admissions, especially among older groups, to mental hospitals. Approaches to aspects of rehabilitation also indicate that ability to approximate acceptably normal behavior in situations less protected than an institution cannot be judged by diagnosis of classification of disability or by behavior in a situation which offers little scope for demonstrating capabilities. Social situations, particularly social isolation and severe physical illness or disability, are already identified as conducive to admission to mental hospitals. In the United States adequate outpatient care is seldom available for the older people who must depend on public financing of the care they need.