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German History in Documents and Images
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Home for the Elderly in Reutlingen (1977)
As life expectancy in the Federal Republic increased and the birthrate declined, the number of people over age 65 increased from approximately 8.12 million in 1970 to 9.127 million in 1985. In 1970, people over 65 accounted for 13.3% of the entire population; by 1985, that figure had risen to 15%. Various measures were taken at the federal, state, and community levels to address this demographic shift. At the behest of the Berlin House of Representatives, the German Center for Gerontology was founded on November 2, 1973, to promote the scientific study of age-related issues. Additionally, a law on old people’s homes, sheltered housing complexes, and nursing homes was passed in July 1974 to guarantee better oversight over care facilities for the elderly. This law was supplemented in January 1978 by an ordinance on minimum building standards for old people’s homes, sheltered housing complexes, and nursing homes. This photograph shows the old people’s home/nursing home of the Eldercare Foundation of the city of Reutlingen. It was designed by Günter Behnisch and Partners and was awarded the German Architecture Prize in 1977.