California Seniors Have Healthiest Behaviors in U.S., Report Finds
However, the state ranked 18th overall for the health of its older residents (Johnson, Monterey Herald, 5/21).
Details of Report
For America's Health Rankings Senior Report, researchers used data from more than one dozen federal agencies and private research associations to asses each state's senior health on 34 measures.
They found that California in 2014 ranked 18th in the country for senior health, up from 24th in 2013.
California seniors had the highest overall score for healthy behaviors in the country, with the state scoring among the top 10 in the U.S. for:
- Avoiding obesity, with 21.1% of seniors being obese;
- Maintaining dental care, with 73.2% of seniors regularly attending dental visits;
- Not smoking, with 5.9% of seniors smoking; and
- Taking part in physical activities, with 21.4% of seniors inactive.
In addition, the report found that the state ranked fifth for having prescription drug coverage available to 88.4% of seniors.
The report also found that nursing home quality in the state has increased, with 51.6% of beds receiving a rating of four or five stars, compared with 45.6% in 2013. Hospital deaths among seniors also declined by 10% over the past year, according to the report.
However, the report noted that there is a high rate of food insecurity in California, as well as limited access to home health care and high rates of hospital deaths.
Among all states, the report scored California:
- 42nd for home health care;
- 45th for social support;
- 47th for hospital deaths; and
- 48th for intensive care unit use (America's Health Rankings Senior Report, May 2014).