America’s Health Rankings Senior Report rated Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for adults aged 65 and over — beating out Hawaii. And that retiree and snowbird haven, Florida? It came in 28th.
The report grades states on 34 individual measures ranging from the amount of physical activity to prescription drug coverage to flu vaccinations. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts round out the top five states. Minnesota stands out in a number of key indicators beyond volunteering. Seniors in the state have the lowest prevalence of cognitive problems, and they visit the dentist often.
Seth Boffeli, spokesman for AARP Minnesota said the report underscores that decades of proactive efforts have paid off. He says Minnesota was ahead of the curve in moving towards community-based living for seniors and away from institutionalized nursing home care, when possible. “We saw early on that you could treat three people in the community for the same amount that it costs to put one person in nursing home,” Boffeli said. But, when needed, the state’s nursing home quality also scored high, according to the report.
Another key indicator for Minnesota was a low rate of seniors facing “food insecurity” — a lack of access to sufficient and nutritious food. “We have made real efforts to increase the number of seniors who are eligible…for the state’s food assistance program to actually enroll,” said Lucinda Jesson, state Human Services Commissioner.
Let’s take some cues from Minnesota and improve Florida’s ranking!
Source/more: Kaiser Health News