In primitive societies, old age was frequently valued. (Simmons, 1945). Older persons often provided knowledge, experience and institutional memory that was of adaptive – even survival – value to their societies. Although nomadic groups in various parts of the world abandoned the old and disabled when safety and security were at stake, overall older people were venerated. However, as the number and percentage of older persons, especially the frail and demented, increased, the perception grew that they were burdens to their families and society. This perception became widespread as societies shifted from agrarian economies, where older men had traditionally owned the land, to industrialized economies, where work was no longer centered in the home and older persons lost their authority.