Not yet nursing homes

“Another historical peculiarity of the place was the fact that its  {New England town's} large mansions, those relics of another time, had not been reconstructed to serve as nursing homes for that vast population of comatose and the dying who were kept alive, unconscionably, through trailblazing medical invention.” 

John Cheever, from Oh What a Paradise It Seems

While Cheever lived much of his life in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y., just to the north of it, he remained almost obsessed by where he had grown up on Greater Boston's South Shore.