People with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, wives who questioned the authority of their husbands were not good enough home makers, or were getting old. Tenants could be admitted by landlords for not paying rent. A boss can admit a "bad" or "slow" employee. children who were born with birth defects who grew up thinking the asylum was the normal way of life. One could even be admitted simply because he was poor.