In recent years, concern about social protection for different population categories has become more pronounced, sparked by demographic trends, changes in family patterns, diversification of women's roles in the home and in the society at large, and pressures from a variety of interest groups. Attention centered on the aged has been gaining momentum as their number in the populations of many countries has increased, absolutely and relatively, and as the 'frail elderly' among them have become more numerous. Involved in the situation of the aged are changes in family patterns that reflect attempts to adjust to urbanization and industrialization, and the more insistent desire to fulfill rising social and economic expectations that, taken together, spell higher levels of well-being.