As people live longer and face the indignities of dying more slowly, we should become aware of the pyramiding problems; Sharon Curtin's Nobody Ever Died of Old Age is still the most feeling and eloquent presentation we have had; this book (closer to the Nader Raider account -- Old Age: The Last Segregation) concentrates on the economic realities of avid exploitation beyond the ""patient who pays the bill in human suffering."" If Medicare and Medicaid (with Social Security backstopping them with all these checks to be cashed -- not by the recipients) have helped to make it possible, consultant (Federation for Community Planning of Cleveland) and investigator Mendelson brings the thrust of responsibility home to the government which has closed its eyes to the various individuals and institutions which have converted nursing homes into a big and profitable business. She has surveyed them for some ten years (now and then with a tape recorder in her knitting bag) and documented various entrepreneurs who cash SS checks, take over personal funds, and go on to increase the take from M & M and various ancillary sources whether the drugstore or the funeral parlor. One man, for example, converted an investment of $5700 into ten million dollars. Others are still operating whether in Ohio, New York, California, Connecticut -- the venue for some of these fact-and-figure findings. A sincere, angry, direct exposure which should be read even if -- as so often we have seen -- our personal inclinations lag far behind our social obligations.