Carroll Estes, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita


Carroll L. Estes is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where she founded and directed the campus-wide Institute for Health & Aging (1979-1998), and chaired the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (1981-1992) in the School of Nursing. Dr Estes is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and past President of three national organizations in aging: The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the American Society on Aging (ASA) and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). Dr. Estes is past-chair of the Board of Directors of The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and its Foundation. Currently she is Board Chair of the Center for Global Policy Solutions. She served as consultant to U. S. Commissioners of Social Security and to U. S. Senate and House Committees on Aging for three decades. In 2014 Estes received the University of California Medal, UCSF’s highest recognition. The League of Women Voters named Estes, “A Woman Who Could Be President” (San Francisco, 1998). The National Organization of Women (NOW) honored her as a “Woman of Action” (2012). Other academic honors include the UCSF Faculty Research Lecturer, The Chancellor’s Award for the Advancement of Women, and both the School of Nursing’s Nahm Research Award and its Doctoral Mentor Award. Estes has received Distinguished Scholar Awards of the American Sociological Association, the Pacific Sociological Association. the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Society on Aging (ASA), the Gerontological Society (GSA) and AGHE. For her scholarship and public service, she has awards from the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Sociologists for Women in Society, and Gray Panthers. She is honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Her current research is on Social Security and Medicare policy, health reform, long term care, and elder women’s economic and health security. Credited as a founding scholar of the “political economy of aging” and “critical gerontology,” Estes is a writer and public speaker who has authored, co-authored, and co-edited 24 books including: The Aging Enterprise (1979), Social Policy and Aging (2001), Social Theory, Social Policy and Ageing (2003), Social Insurance and Social Justice: The Campaign Against Social Security and Medicare (2009), and Health Policy: Crisis and Reform (2013). Her book, The Long Term Care Crisis, was a 1994 Most Important Book (Choice Magazine). Her latest book is Critical Aging Policy: A to Z (Routledge, 2018). Dr. Estes’ peer reviewed research appears in The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Health Care Financing Review, Health Affairs, Milbank Quarterly, Social Science and Medicine, The American Journal of Public Health, The American Journal of Sociology, The Gerontologist, and other journals. Her edited volumes, The Nation’s Health (with Philip Lee) and Health Policy (with Charlene Harrington), have been adopted in 400 Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Estes received her A.B. from Stanford University, M.A. from Southern Methodist University, Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Russell Sage College. She has been visiting professor at the London School of Economics and the Sorbonne in Paris. Estes has one daughter, Duskie Lynn Estes, a son-in-law, John Stewart, both award winning chefs, and two grand-daughters, Brydie and MacKenzie Estes Stewart.



Hollister BA, Estes CL. Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program effectiveness and the measurement of program resources. J Appl Gerontol. 2013 Sep; 32(6):708-28.
Pelham A, Schafer D, Abbott P, Estes C. Professionalizing gerontology: why AGHE must accredit gerontology programs. Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2012; 33(1):6-19.
Solway E, Estes CL, Goldberg S, Berry J. Access barriers to mental health services for older adults from diverse populations: perspectives of leaders in mental health and aging. J Aging Soc Policy. 2010 Oct; 22(4):360-78.
Estes CL, Lohrer SP, Goldberg S, Grossman BR, Nelson M, Koren MJ, Hollister B. Factors associated with perceived effectiveness of local long-term care ombudsman programs in New York and California. J Aging Health. 2010 Sep; 22(6):772-803.
Areán PA, Ayalon L, Jin C, McCulloch CE, Linkins K, Chen H, McDonnell-Herr B, Levkoff S, Estes C. Integrated specialty mental health care among older minorities improves access but not outcomes: results of the PRISMe study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Oct; 23(10):1086-92.
Areán PA, Ayalon L, Jin C, McCulloch CE, Linkins K, Chen H, McDonnell-Herr B, Levkoff S, Estes C. Retracted: Integrated specialty mental health care among older minorities improves access but not outcomes: results of the PRISMe study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Oct; 23(10).
Lynch M, Hernandez M, Estes C. PACE: has it changed the chronic care paradigm? Soc Work Public Health. 2008; 23(4):3-24.
Ayalon L, Areán PA, Linkins K, Lynch M, Estes CL. Integration of mental health services into primary care overcomes ethnic disparities in access to mental health services between black and white elderly. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Oct; 15(10):906-12.
Svihula J, Estes CL. Social security politics: ideology and reform. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2007 Mar; 62(2):S79-89.
Estes CL, Goldberg S, Wellin C, Linkins KW, Shostak S, Beard RL. Implications of welfare reform on the elderly: a case study of provider, advocate, and consumer perspectives. J Aging Soc Policy. 2006; 18(1):41-63.
Estes CL, Zulman DM, Goldberg SC, Ogawa DD. State long term care ombudsman programs: factors associated with perceived effectiveness. Gerontologist. 2004 Feb; 44(1):104-15.
Areán PA, Alvidrez J, Nery R, Estes C, Linkins K. Recruitment and retention of older minorities in mental health services research. Gerontologist. 2003 Feb; 43(1):36-44.
Estes CL, Phillipson C. The globalization of capital, the welfare state, and old age policy. Int J Health Serv. 2002; 32(2):279-97.
Estes C, Seymour RB, Yue MC. California Collaborative Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research: a history and update. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2001 Oct-Dec; 33(4):339-42.
Wiener JM, Estes CL, Goldenson SM, Goldberg SC. What happened to long-term care in the health reform debate of 1993-1994? Lessons for the future. Milbank Q. 2001; 79(2):207-52, IV.
Schunk MV, Estes CL. Is German long-term care insurance a model for the United States? Int J Health Serv. 2001; 31(3):617-34.
Weitz T, Estes CL. Adding aging and gender to the women's health agenda. J Women Aging. 2001; 13(2):3-20.
Clark MJ, Schmitz S, Conrad A, Estes C, Healy MM, Hiltibidal J. The effects of an intervention campaign to enhance seat belt use on campus. J Am Coll Health. 1999 May; 47(6):277-80.
Torrez DJ, Estes C, Linkens K. The impact of a decade of policy on home health care utilization. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1998; 16(4):35-56.
Estes CL, Linkins KW. Devolution and aging policy: racing to the bottom in long-term care. Int J Health Serv. 1997; 27(3):427-42.
Imershein AW, Estes CL. From health services to medical markets: the commodity transformation of medical production and the nonprofit sector. Int J Health Serv. 1996; 26(2):221-38.
Swan JH, Estes CL, Harrington C. Nursing home waits for admission in an era of change. J Health Soc Policy. 1995; 7(2):33-45.
Bradsher JE, Estes CL, Stuart MH. Adult day care: a fragmented system of policy and funding streams. J Aging Soc Policy. 1995; 7(1):17-38.
Estes CL, Swan JH. Privatization, system membership, and access to home health care for the elderly. Milbank Q. 1994; 72(2):277-98.
Estes CL, Bodenheimer T. Paying for long-term care. West J Med. 1994 Jan; 160(1):64-9.
Estes CL. The 1992 Kent Lecture. The aging enterprise revisited. Gerontologist. 1993 Jun; 33(3):292-8.
Estes CL, Binney EA, Culbertson RA. The gerontological imagination: social influences on the development of gerontology, 1945-present. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1992; 35(1):49-65.
Estes CL, Swan JH, Bergthold LA, Spohn PH. Running as fast as they can: organizational changes in home health care. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1992; 13(1-2):35-69.
Harrington C, Cassel C, Estes CL, Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU. A national long-term care program for the United States. A caring vision. The Working Group on Long-term Care Program Design, Physicians for a National Health Program. JAMA. 1991 Dec 04; 266(21):3023-9.
Arendell T, Estes CL. Older women in the post-Reagan era. Int J Health Serv. 1991; 21(1):59-73.
Swan JH, Estes CL. Changes in aged populations served by home health agencies. J Aging Health. 1990 Aug; 2(3):373-94.
Wood JB, Estes CL. The impact of DRGs on community-based service providers: implications for the elderly. Am J Public Health. 1990 Jul; 80(7):840-3.
Goldberg SC, Estes CL. Medicare DRGs and post-hospital care for the elderly: does out of the hospital mean out of luck? J Appl Gerontol. 1990 Mar; 9(1):20-35.
Bergthold LA, Estes CL, Villanueva A. Public light and private dark: the privatization of home health services for the elderly in the U.S. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1990; 11(3-4):7-33.
Binney EA, Estes CL, Ingman SR. Medicalization, public policy and the elderly: social services in jeopardy? Soc Sci Med. 1990; 30(7):761-71.
Estes CL, Binney EA. The biomedicalization of aging: dangers and dilemmas. Gerontologist. 1989 Oct; 29(5):587-96.
Kerin PB, Estes CL, Douglass EB. Federal funding for aging education and research: a decade analysis. Gerontologist. 1989 Oct; 29(5):606-14.
Swan JH, Fox PJ, Estes CL. Geriatric services: community mental health center boon or bane? Community Ment Health J. 1989; 25(4):327-40.
Wood JB, Estes CL. "Medicalization" of community services for the elderly. Health Soc Work. 1988; 13(1):35-42.
Estes CL. Cost containment and the elderly: conflict or challenge? J Am Geriatr Soc. 1988 Jan; 36(1):65-72.
Estes CL, Binney EA. Toward a transformation of health and aging policy. Int J Health Serv. 1988; 18(1):69-82.
Estes CL. Cost containment and the elderly: conflict or challenge? J Am Geriatr Soc. 1988 Jan; 36(1):68-72.
Binney EA, Estes CL. The retreat of the state and its transfer of responsibility: the intergenerational war. Int J Health Serv. 1988; 18(1):83-96.
Spohn PH, Bergthold L, Estes CL. From cottages to condos: the expansion of the home health care industry under Medicare. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1987-1988 Winter; 8(4):25-55.
Fox PJ, Swan JH, Estes CL. Trends in CMHC services to elderly populations. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1986 Sep; 37(9):937-9.
Wood JB, Estes CL. Health care cost containment and nonprofit homemaker/chore agencies. Caring. 1986 Sep; 5(9):26-34.
Harrington C, Estes CL, Lee PR, Newcomer RJ. Effects of state Medicaid policies on the aged. Gerontologist. 1986 Aug; 26(4):437-43.
Estes CL, Gerard L, Stone R. The policy implications of caring for older women. Bus Health. 1986 Mar; 3(4):38-40.
Swan JH, Fox PJ, Estes CL. Community mental health services and the elderly: retrenchment or expansion? Community Ment Health J. 1986; 22(4):275-85.
Estes CL, Wood JB. The non-profit sector and community-based care for the elderly in the U.S.: a disappearing resource? Soc Sci Med. 1986; 23(12):1261-6.
Estes CL. The aging enterprise: in whose interests? Int J Health Serv. 1986; 16(2):243-51.
Wood JB, Hughes RG, Estes CL. Community health centers and the elderly: a potential new alliance. J Community Health. 1986; 11(2):137-46.
Estes CL. Long-term care and public policy in an era of austerity. J Public Health Policy. 1985 Dec; 6(4):464-75.
Estes CL, Wood JB. A preliminary assessment of the impact of block grants on community mental health centers. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1984 Nov; 35(11):1125-9.
Estes CL. The United States; long-term and Federal policy. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1984 Fall-1985 Winter; 5(3-4):315-28.
Wood JB, Estes CL. Home health care under the policies of new federalism. Caring. 1984 Jun; 3(6):58-61.
Estes CL, Gerard L, Clarke A. Women and the economics of aging. Int J Health Serv. 1984; 14(1):55-68.
Rice DP, Estes CL. Health of the elderly: policy issues and challenges. Health Aff (Millwood). 1984; 3(4):25-49.
Estes CL. Social security: the social construction of a crisis. Milbank Mem Fund Q Health Soc. 1983; 61(3):445-61.
Lee PR, Leroy L, Estes CL. Needs and planning for manpower within a health region: concepts, problems, and progress. Isr J Med Sci. 1982 Mar; 18(3):385-91.
Estes CL. Aging policies in the 1980s: the challenge for institutions of higher education. Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 1982; 3(2):103-9.
Estes CL. Austerity and aging in the United States: 1980 and beyond. Int J Health Serv. 1982; 12(4):573-84.
Estes CL, Lee PR. Policy shifts and their impact on health care for elderly persons. West J Med. 1981 Dec; 135(6):511-8.
Benjamin AE, Estes CL, Swan JH, Newcomer RJ. Elders and children: patterns of public policy in the fifty states. J Gerontol. 1980 Nov; 35(6):928-34.
Lee PR, Estes CL. Public policies, the aged, and long-term care. J Long Term Care Adm. 1979; 7(3):1-15.
Estes CL. Revenue sharing: implications for policy and research in aging. Gerontologist. 1976 Apr; 16(2):141-7.
Estes CL. Barriers to effective community planning for the elderly. Gerontologist. 1973; 13(2):178-83.
Headshot of Carroll Estes
+1 415 476-3236
3333 California Street, Rm 360F
UCSF Box 0646
San Francisco, CA 94118
United States