The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the most healthy state in the nations thanks to its high rate of annual dental visits, high percentage of volunteerism and a low percentage of marginal food insecurity. The state also has a high percentage of creditable drug coverage and a high availability of home health-care workers.
The north eastern state was a close second place thanks it its high prevalence of health-care providers, lower percentage of ICU usage and low prevalence of smoking. Vermont also has a low percentage of low-care nursing home residents, at 6.5% of nursing home residents.
The state’s low percentage of seniors living in poverty, high community support expenditures and a high percentage of diabetes management helps keep this state high on the list. Seniors living in the Granite State have the second-highest health status with 47.8% of adults ages 65 and up in good or excellent health.
Massachusetts ranks high thanks to its seniors making frequent dental visits and having a high percentage of health screenings. Challenges for the state include a high prevalence of chronic drinking and high rate of preventable hospitalizations.
Iowa rounds out the top five healthiest states for seniors due to its low prevalence of activity-limiting arthritis pain amongst seniors. It also has a high percentage of volunteerism and a high rate of credible drug coverage.
This state ranked in the bottom five thanks to its high prevalence of physical inactivity, high percentage of low-care nursing home residents and high prevalence of food insecurity. On a positive note, the state also has a low prevalence of chronic drinking, and high rate of highly-rated nursing home beds.
\With 55.7% of adults ages 65 and up having disabilities, the state ranks low on the healthy list in addition to having the highest rate of physical inactivity at 41.2% of adults ages 65 and up.
Louisiana moved up from the bottom spot in 2012, when it tied with Mississippi for the least-healthy state in the country for seniors. Within the state there is a high percentage of children in poverty, high level of sedentary lifestyle, obesity and diabetes. On the positive side, the report says there is high immunization coverage and low prevalence of binge drinking.
This state came in second-to-last because of its high geriatrician shortfall with 83.0% of geriatricians needed. Also, it has a high percentage of seniors enrolled in hospice care during the last six months of life at 44.4% of adults ages 65 and up.
Mississippi ranked lowest in the report thanks to its low rate of annual dental visits, high rate of seniors in poverty and high percentage of marginal food insecurity. The state also has a low percentage of seniors who report very good, or excellent health, and a low prevalence of able-bodied seniors, as well as a high premature death rate.
Boomers looking to retire to a new state should check out the most and least healthy states in the U.S. for seniors.