Many older adults dream of one day traveling the United States in order to see the many natural wonders across this great land. While many might find this task daunting and are ultimately happy to return home, many seniors fall in love with the West. In particular, Montana has become an increasingly popular, and affordable, place to retire.
And what’s not to love? The state is no longer inaccessible due to its many cell phone towers and improved communications networks. Both of these systems support GPS-enabled and mobile-app medical alert systems that empower older folks to get hiking and exploring while knowing helpful assistance is only a click away.
As previously mentioned, Montana has a growing number of residents aged 65 and over. Specifically, the state recently saw a three percent increase in this particular age group, which drove the overall percentage to 17.7 percent, or over 185,000 older adults. This might not seem like very many, but does rank the state as sixth in the nation for persons 65 years and over.
Despite such a large segment of older persons that call themselves Montanans, the state’s Senior & Long Term Care Division, or SLTC, does not provide medical alert systems. That said, older folks looking to make the move out West would be wise to investigate how powerful a system they might need to purchase, as some areas are still truly quite remote.
Although cities in Montana can be far-flung, the state actually boasts the third fastest emergency response time for the entire nation at 14 minutes. The speed and quality of care does not stop there, however, as discharge time was just over 90 minutes and transfers to rooms only took an average of 73 minutes. If you happened to fall and break a bone, then only expect to wait for 45 minutes for pain relief and assessment.
But again, seniors would be well-advised to invest in a USB-enabled bracelet, pendant or subscription medical alert service so that when paramedics do arrive on the scene, they have that much more information and can begin treatment en route to the hospital.
Montana had solid scores as judged by U.S. News and McKinsey & Company, which ranked the state 26th and 25th, respectively, across eight distinct categories. Of note, the Gold and Silver State ranked 25th for overall healthcare access, 22nd for the quality of healthcare, 28th for public health, 20th for affordability, 28th for adult dental visit quality and 29th for health insurance enrollment.
The state did rank a dismal 40th for older adult wellness visits, which should encourage those looking to make the move to Big Sky Country to consider investing in a monitoring device that tracks activities, blood sugar levels and the like. Taking a proactive approach to health might help older adults stave off visits to the doctor and keep them safe while doing so.
As previously mentioned, SLTC does not offer in-home or mobile medical alert systems but does aid seniors in other ways. This arm of the government provides adult day care services, adult foster care, adult protective services, healthy living programs, home health services, hospice care, legal services to fight fraud, in-home care assistants and state health insurance programs.
In line with most other states, Montana also encourages folks over the age of 65 to investigate other programs they might be eligible for, like Medicare or Medicaid. Finally, the state is home to 16 percent of former military personnel, which ranks it fourth across the nation. For this reason, it runs a robust VA program to help those who have served.
Montana is a treasure of a state, especially when it comes to providing a retirement location for those who appreciate wide-open spaces. That said, Montana can still be a remote outpost, and older adults would be wise to invest in high-power or long-range medical monitoring systems, as these small steps in safety can aid first responders in the event of an emergency.
Urgent medical care is taken extremely seriously in Big Sky Country, and the state boasts some of the lowest wait times across the nation and wonderful medical programs in some of the larger cities such as Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula. Ultimately, Montana is affordable and welcoming to all, with a notable focus on those aged 65 and older.