Washington a top-10 state for senior health

Washington is the eighth-healthiest state in the U.S. for older adults for the second consecutive year, according to the latest America’s Health Rankings Senior Reportfrom United Health Foundation.

The 2023 report gives Washington the best ranking among states in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is 12th,Idaho is 18th, and Montana is 23rd.

The five states considered the healthiest are, in order, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont. 

Washington’s top-10 position is attributed to a low prevalence of seniors with multiple chronic conditions and a low poverty rate. The report lists a few areas for improvement by the Evergreen State, however, especially in mental health. Washington ranks 45th in the nation for seniors with depression, 38th for drug-related deaths among seniors, and 35th for states with high rates of suicide among seniors.

Notable changes for adults 65 and older in recent years in Washington include: 

  • Volunteerism decreased from 36 percent to 25 percent.
  • Access to high-speed Internet increased from 78 percent to 88 percent of households.

For all states, rankings are based on four determinants that directly influence health outcomes: Behaviors, community and environment, policy, and clinical care. Washington scored five out of five “stars” in social and economic factors, clinical care, and behaviors.

The full report is online at americashealthrankings.org.

Source: United Healthcare