The 2017 America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report has been released, and it offers a breakdown of 34 categories of senior health and ranks every American state based off of this date. The report found a general increase across the board in multiple clinical care measures.
The three healthiest states for seniors are Minnesota, Utah and Hawaii. The three lowest rankings went to Oklahoma, Kentucky and Mississippi.
The states were measured on a wide range of issues including obesity, smoking and nursing home quality.
The report notes that the biggest challenges facing nursing home quality are a staffing shortage and elder abuse. These issues serve as a reminder for the need to constantly improve the quality of nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ranks facilities on a five-star rating based on a variety of nursing home quality factors.
The report has only collected data on nursing home quality for the past three years, and it has not noted a major change in nursing home quality on a nationwide level. Maine tops the list with a quality rating of 56.4%, while West Virginia is the worst for nursing home residents bottoming out at less than half of top-ranked Maine with only a 25.8% quality rating.
In general, states that ranked at the top of the overall senior health charts also ranked highly in nursing home quality, and vice versa for those states at the bottom of the rankings. This suggests that nursing home and assisted living facility care is vital to the health of the overall senior population.
An increase in funding and training for employees can help combat issues currently facing the nursing home industry. Better workforce retention and processes for residents to report mistreatment are important steps to improving the health of senior populations.
On a national scale, the most encouraging data might be that hospital and hospice deaths have decreased by 30% since 2013. This marks a remarkable increase in nationwide hospital care for seniors. Also, health screenings have increased by 19% in a similar time frame.
Check out the full report here.
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