See how Ohio ranks for senior citizen health

Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson
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Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson

How healthy are older adults in Ohio? Not great compared to other states, but slightly better than last year, according to a new report by UnitedHealth Foundation.

The foundation’s 2018 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report ranked Ohio 34th among the 50 states. In 2017, Ohio ranked 35th.

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The report assesses of the health of seniors at the national and state levels, according to the foundation, which was established by insurance company UnitedHealth Group.

The report’s key findings for Ohio include:

  • Ohio seniors rank first in prescription drug coverage (89 percent of Medicare enrollees aged 65 and older).
  • In the past two years, frequent mental distress decreased from 7.4 percent to 6.2 percent of adults aged 65 and older.
  • In the past five years, low-care nursing home residents increased from 9.2 percent to 11.7 percent of residents.
  • In the past year, SNAP reach decreased from 77 to 65.9 participants per 100 adults aged 60 or older in poverty.
  • In the past year, home health care workers increased from 109.4 to 114.7 aides per 1,000 adults aged 75 and older.

Nationally, the findings state:

  • Seniors in rural areas are 13 percent more likely to be physically inactive (34.3 percent) compared to their peers living in suburban (30.4 percent) and urban areas (30.1 percent).
  • Seniors in rural areas are 7 percent less likely to receive the flu vaccination (57.2 percent) than urban seniors (61.4 percent).
  • The suicide rate among seniors has increased 12 percent since the 2014 edition of the Senior Report;
  • Risk of social isolation among seniors varies widely by state with a concentrated area of high risk from the mid-Southern region through the Appalachian Mountain states. States with the lowest social isolation risk are generally found in the Rocky Mountain region.
  • Food insecurity decreased 7 percent in the past year.
  • The number of home health care workers increased 20 percent since 2013 (per 1,000 adults age 75 and older).

The full Ohio report is available online.

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