Kentucky ranked 49th in senior health

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Growing old has many challenges. Out of all those challenges, maintaining good health is a top concern for those over age 65. In Kentucky, finding adequate care and maintaining good health is often a struggle for the older population.

A recent study has found Kentucky to be the one of the worst states in the country to grow old. The state is ranked 49th for senior health, according to an American’s Health Rankings Report.

Kentucky has continued to have poor senior health rankings for the past six years, according to the report. Since last year the state has slipped down to the second to last spot, with Mississippi being the only state ranked worse.

“There needs to be a lot more one-on-one assistance, because a lot of times providers have 10-15 minutes. So there needs to be a more intimate approach,” said Kim Iman, quality improvement advisor at Qsource.

Researchers considered five main categories. In four of those categories, Kentucky ranked at the bottom. The state is 50th for health outcomes and 47th for community and environment.

“Some of the unique diagnosis that individuals face in Kentucky are the high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking. All the things that we are tied with other states, Mississippi and Alabama, at being at the bottom,” said Iman

While the report is littered with bad news for the state’s senior community, it’s not too late to turn things around. The help will likely come from the community.

“A lot of times elderly don’t have family, or they are far off. So, the community must become more cohesive in regards to the elderly, healthcare and just looking at it as a holistic function,” said Iman.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky is doing a lot of work to improve quality of life and care for older members of the community.

“Our drivers might be the only person that a person in their home that receives a home delivered meal may see for the whole day. So, that smile on their face and a little social chit chat gets them through the day and gives them something to look forward to the next day,” said Bridget Lutenski, manager at Community Action of Southern Kentucky Warren County Senior Center.

May is also National Older Americans Month. Community Action of Southern Kentucky is welcoming volunteers to get involved with the seniors in the community through one of the many programs that they offer at their Senior Center.