I came across an article of 24/7 Wall St. over the weekend that was very encouraging. According to the article, Massachusetts is among the 10 best states to grow old in. It would be better if we were the best state, but at least we are not among the worst states to grow old in such as Mississippi or West Virginia.
Actually, a few New England States were listed among the best States (Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire). According to the article, this was attributed to the fact that Massachusetts and its neighboring states have a very strong health care system and the policies are very favorable to seniors, enabling more accessibility to senior services.
I live in Newton and I am very proud of the work that the Newton Senior Center does to reach out to local seniors and connect them to services that they need.
Here is a quick look at statistics that differentiate Massachusetts from Mississippi, the state the article names as the worst to grow old in.
I am a big fan of day programs for seniors. They enable seniors to socialize with others but also provide the necessary care services and companionship at home. A senior doesn’t have to attend every day. You can work out a schedule that works best for you and your loved one.
Median Household Income Age 65+: $40,020 (15th highest) vs. $29,511 (the lowest)
Percentage 65+ with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 29.2% (7th highest) vs. 18.2% (6th lowest)
Violent Crime Rate per 100,000 Residents: 404.0 (16th highest) vs. 267.4 (18th lowest)
Percentage 65+ with a Disability: 34.1% (10th lowest) vs. 45.1% (2nd highest)
The higher median income and education levels, coupled with a lower crime rate and policies that make services accessible to seniors can help keep seniors happier, healthier and safer as they age. It looks like, in Massachusetts, we’re doing this a little better than most.