Unless you grew up in Missouri, you might not think twice about this state being a top candidate for retirement. The state’s nickname, the ‘Show Me State,’ was derived from its no-nonsense approach to politics and legislation. This state was ranked as the 14th best place to retire by Forbes magazine. Forbes also encouraged older adults to look at the quiet capital hamlet of Jefferson City due to its affordability, which includes a cost of living that is 10 percent below the national average, as well as homes that rarely exceed $140,000.
Missouri is also a strong contender as a retirement location due to its focus on senior safety, health and access to quality medical care. Read on to learn more!
Even though Jefferson City only has a population of 43,000, the town is nestled between the larger and more well-known destinations of St. Louis and Kansas City. The cumulative population of the Show Me State exceeds six million, with those aged 65 and older numbering just over 980,000. This translates to 16.1 percent of the overall populace enjoying their golden years in a state that is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. This percentage also lands Missouri in the top twenty states with the greatest number of seniors per capita.
With such a large fraction of Missourians enjoying their retirement in this Midwestern destination, the state has taken a great many precautions in order to ensure safe, healthy and affordable care in the event of an emergency event. Missouri spends, on average, $8,221 per person to ensure top marks in emergency response times. That said, older adults are still advised to invest in a fall detection system, as Missouri has a rate of falling that is 31 percent higher than the national average, which is approximately 33 percent.
This makes the 48-minute response time for a fall respectable, but not when you are languishing in pain with a broken bone. This is in addition to the 20-minute average wait time for general care. Seniors can decrease the overall waiting time, however, by considering a subscription-based monitoring system that not only alerts first responders to a fall, but can pass along pertinent details to get you treatment en route to hospital.
Missouri ranks toward the lower end of the national ratings for medical care, as assessed by U.S. News and McKinsey & Company. The former has the overall health care in the state rated 39th with access to care 33rd, quality of care 36th and public health 39th. The latter scored adult dental visits 40th, wellness checks 25th and affordability 34th for an overall ranking of 33rd. Still, the state is making great strides to improve medical care for those aged 65 and over.
What’s more, however, is the fact that seniors are taking the state of their long-term care into their own hands by way of the Silver-Haired Legislature. This coalition of delegates has their top priorities as supporting the growth of the senior services development fund, increasing home-delivered and congregate meals around the state, improved Medicaid coverage, financial assistance for hearing aid devices and better funding for state prescription programs.
Keeping with the theme of senior empowerment, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services has also created the Show Me Falls Free Missouri Coalition to help educate older adults about the risks of taking a spill. This general assembly focuses on education campaigns and preventing falls that can lead to severe injuries, long-term recoveries and expensive in-home stays.
The state also focuses on improving access to adult day cares, Alzheimer’s programs, food programs, prescription medication funding, employment opportunities and wellness initiatives. As with other government organizations across the country, the Show Me State also attempts to prevent elder abuse and promote aging in place as long as is safely possible.
While Missouri may not rank the highest when it comes to urgent or emergency care, the state is making great strides in getting seniors the access they need when in crisis. What’s more, that state is taking a unique approach by empowering seniors and providing those folks aged 65 and older with general assemblies and legislative forums to drive changes in Medicaid and Medicare funding. This should come as no surprise, though, as the Show Me State is built on a no-nonsense approach to helping its citizens.
Ultimately, while this state is extremely affordable, seniors might want to invest some of the money they save in an in-home fall detection service or pendant to ensure they get the help they need when they need it.