Editor's note: From its first issue in 1900 through to the present day, AJN has unparalleled archives detailing nurses’ work and lives over the last century. These articles not only chronicle nursing's growth as a profession within the context of the events of the day, but they also reveal prevailing societal attitudes about women, health care, and human rights. Today's nursing school curricula rarely include nursing's history, but it's a history worth knowing. To this end, From the AJN Archives will be a frequent column, containing articles selected to fit today's topics and times.
As an accompaniment to this month's original research article on loneliness in chronically ill rural older adults, we thought you'd enjoy a look back at Lavinia L. Dock's firsthand account of the mutual aid provided by people from a rural mountain region in Pennsylvania to an older man in the community. This article, from the December 1906 issue and published here in its entirety, provides a fascinating look at how one community came together to “sit up” with this ailing man, and the beliefs people held about illness—for example, keeping windows tightly shut—at the time.
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