Submitted by UnitedHealthcare of Washington.
Washington ranks as the 8th healthiest state for seniors in the nation, according to the latest America’s Health Rankings Senior Report from the United Health Foundation. This year, Washington also earned the top spot for senior health in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon ranked 12th and Montana ranked 20th.
According to the report, Washington’s high ranking can be attributed to a low early death rate, high SNAP participation among older adults in poverty, and low prevalence of seniors with multiple chronic conditions.
While Washington ranks in the top 10, the report finds a few areas for improvement, especially in regards to seniors’ mental health. The state ranks last for depression with a high percentage of seniors who reported being told by a health professional that they have a depressive disorder. In fact, the report finds depression significantly increased between 2011 and 2020 in Washington from 12.6% to 20.0% of adults aged 65 and older.
Other notable changes to senior health in Washington include:
- Physical inactivity increased 25% from 20.0% to 24.9% of adults ages 65+ in fair or better health between 2015 and 2020Flu vaccination increased 18% from 60.7% to 71.6% of adults ages 65+ between 2011 and 2020
- Drug deaths increased 64% from 5.8 to 9.5 deaths per 100,000 adults ages 65+ between 2009-2011 and 2018-2020
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.
You can find more information and the full report here: www.americashealthrankings.org/learn/reports/2022-senior-report