May 21, 2014
Virginia ranked 21st in the nation for senior health this year, according to the second edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report.
The report finds that Virginia has its share of strengths and challenges.
Virginia’s strengths include:
- Lowest prevalence of food insecurity.
- Few poor mental health days per month.
- Low prevalence of underweight seniors.
Some of the Commonwealth’s challenges are:
- High percentage of hospital deaths
- Low percentage of quality nursing home beds.
- Low prescription drug coverage.
According to the report, Minnesota is the healthiest state for seniors for the second year in a row. Hawaii ranks second, followed by New Hampshire (3), Vermont (4) and Massachusetts (5). Mississippi is the least healthy state for seniors, followed by Louisiana (49), Kentucky (48), Oklahoma (47) and Arkansas (46).
Officials say seniors across the nation are showing improvements in key health measures and taking more steps to better their own health. Notable gains for senior health include a decline in physical inactivity, improvements in quality of nursing home care, reductions in avoidable hospitalizations, and increased preparation for end-of-life care.