New Hampshire ranks second in the nation for healthy senior living, according to a new report.
United Healthcare’s 2023 Senior Report measures the physical, mental and social well-being of Americans age 65 and older – and shows that increased community support services have led to a 6% decline in food insecurity.
United Healthcare Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. Rhonda Randall said more eligible seniors are taking advantage of federal programs such as SNAP to alleviate hunger.
“Less seniors are worried about getting access to nutritious food,” said Randall. “More seniors got home-delivered meals, and more seniors got assistance with meals.”
Randall said efforts that began during the pandemic to help keep vulnerable seniors fed and healthy show that with the right investments, the lives of older adults can improve.
New Hampshire’s abundance of outdoor recreational areas is a boon to senior health and helps prevent social isolation.
AARP New Hampshire State Director Christina FitzPatrick said the state has designated some nineteen communities as “age-friendly” – and is working to improve areas such as transportation, housing, health services and civic engagement.
“And these are communities that have committed,” said FitzPatrick, “to making their communities more livable, vibrant places for everyone.”
Still, FitzPatrick said the shortage of health-care workers to help older residents “age in place” remains a top concern.
She said some lawmakers have introduced legislation to help rectify workforce shortages and help create a long-term system of care for healthy aging in New Hampshire.
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This story was written by Kathryn Carley, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.