Los Angeles Times
This is one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. You know how older people, when they begin to experience a bit of dementia, become disconnected to the present and can relive the past? What if, instead of pleasant memories of family and friends, the past they relive took place in a Nazi concentration camp?
There are 700,000 living victims of the camps still alive, 120,000 of whom live in the United States. As they are aging, they are exhibiting special needs in terms of dealing with their pasts. Many elderly people are, of course, cared for in institutions or hospitals. The problem is that so many of the aspects of institutional life -- standing in line, lack of privacy, showers, etc. - are triggers that bring back traumatic memories. The patients experience these events as if they are happening right now, which can create paranoia, anxiety and even drive them to psychotic breaks.
The best situation for these poor people is private rooms or home care, where they have privacy and a bit of control over their environment, but Germany has so far only ponied up 50 Million dollars to help provide these services. As far as I'm concerned, these people have survived a living hell, and we owe it to them to give them anything they need to age peacefully and without fear. That's not possible in some cases, but the idea that money might be an issue that contributes to the problem is obscene. Some things go beyond the value of money, and this is certainly one of them.