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Ohio’s Elderly Among the Least Healthy

Older Americans have recorded a better outlook of life in general as compared to younger generations. However, aging is tougher in some states when compared to others. According to a study that was recently conducted by Gallup-Healthways, Ohio is one of the worst states in the US for the well-being of older adults. Most Ohio residents who are 55 years and older view that their life is only marginally better as compared to their younger counterparts. The report goes on to show that the life of these old folks from Ohio is miserable when compared with those of the same age from different states. The Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index report shows that this placed Ohio State at number 47 only three positions from the bottom.

West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky are among other states that recorded low for the well-being of old ones living in them. Senior folks living in Hawaii recorded the highest in the Well-being Index that was entirely based on interviews which comprised 115,000 people who are considered elderly. The study was carried between early 2014 and the end of March 2015. While it is true to say that older people in Ohio complained of things such as, financial security, social acceptance, their purpose in life, and community engagement among other things, there was discrepancy among them. For instance, in Ohio, those with 75 years and above had the highest scores in their well-being. This was the case with most states.

Dan Witters, director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index says, “The trajectory of well-being for older adults is interesting because we do see a decline in well-being when people reach their late 40s and early 50s, but then, a significant increase across all five elements after that.” Judy Budi, Graceworks Lutheran Services’ vice president, which offers housing for 62 years and older persons, is not surprised by this newly-released study. “Seniors tend to be more satisfied with their standard of living for a variety of reasons. They worry less about money than younger people, they have better access to health care because of Medicare, they eat healthier and they’re less likely to smoke,” observes Budi.

While speaking of Ohio’s current state of old people’s well-being, Budi said that those states with the lowest well-being among their older people are the same states where well-being as a whole lags behind. She continued saying, “When you look at the states that rank pretty high, whether that’s Florida, Hawaii or states along the coasts, they tend to have nicer weather, and they tend to be states that provide more opportunity to engage in health and fitness activities that promote more satisfying and healthier lifestyles.”

In all seven years of tracking, Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia are the only US states that have appeared consistently among the lowest rankings.

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