The 5 Best States for Seniors

Brianna Ehley
May 22, 2014
The 5 Best States for Seniors

Though plenty of seniors spend their golden years down south in states like Florida and Arizona, turns out they might just be better off heading north.

Minnesota is the nicest, healthiest place for adults 65 and older, despite its harsh winters, according to America’s Health Rankings Senior Report for 2014, which is focused on the ever-expanding portion of the American population. This is the second year in a row the report has ranked U.S. states for how well they support healthy aging.

Related: The 4 Best States for Military Retirees

A combination of factors set Minnsota – the Land of 10,000 Lakes – apart from the usual snowbird hotspots, including good access to flu vaccinations, higher prescription drug coverage, and healthy amounts of physical activity by its seniors.

Minnesota also ranks so well because it has one of the highest rates of annual dental visits by its older population; a high percentage of volunteerism among seniors; a high rate of available quality nursing home beds; and a low percentage of marginal food insecurity, the survey found.

The state boasts a low rate of hospitalization for hip fractures, a high percentage of able-bodied seniors, and a low premature death rate. The researchers said that Minnesota’s main challenge is its low percentage of older adults who have a dedicated health care provider.

As for Hawaii, the number-two state in the ranking, it was deemed healthier than most other states because of its seniors’ strong access to medical care and the country’s lowest rates of obesity and hip fractures.

Florida, meanwhile – that popular hot spot for seniors – ranked  28th among all states nd has one of the highest percentages of seniors with chronic conditions, a low volunteer rate, and low community support.

Still, the Sunshine State fared far better than Mississippi, the least healthy place for seniors, according to the survey. The state has high poverty rates and low levels of preventive care among seniors. Still, even in Mississippi, rates of exercise among seniors are increasing.

These 5 states scored as the healthiest places for seniors:

1)    Minnesota

2)    Hawaii

3)    New Hampshire

4)    Vermont

5)    Massachusetts

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