There is more to aging than worrying about stretching your budget or trying to gain access to the most affordable healthcare networks on offer throughout the nation. These should be factors, of course, when selecting your next retirement location, but they should not be the only considerations, given the number of mobile and on-the-go applications that can ensure your safety away from an in-home base unit. All things being equal, why not consider staying put in New England or moving to a state like New Hampshire, which boasts some top national rankings for older adult care?
New Hampshire may seem like a tiny state, but it is big when it comes to the percentage of older adults that call the Granite State home. While Florida clearly has the highest proportion of persons over the age of 65 (19.06 percent), New Hampshire comes in only twelve spots behind at 17 percent. What’s more, this segment of the overall population ballooned by 24 percent since 2000 and has not slowed since seeing another 3.5 percent increase from just a few short years ago. These increases have boosted the over-65 crowd from a mere 181,000 people to more than 228,000.
New Hampshire is no slouch of a state when it comes to providing timely urgent care, but does have some room for improvement when held up against Western states like Colorado and Utah. Still, a 25-minute response time is right in line with the national average, while a 2.5 hour turn time from door to door, or ER to home, is also on par with the rest of the country. Transfer time is just over 90 minutes and broken bone assistance is less than one hour.
As always, having ready access to your medical files and history could help speed the process along, and a paid subscription service can more quickly get you in front of the right doctor with less of a likelihood for mistreatment, or worse.
U.S. News ranks New Hampshire 13th overall when it comes to overall medical care. This works out to an eighth-place ranking in access to care followed by two top 25 spots for quality of care and public health access. McKinsey & Company confirmed these rankings with another eighth-place ranking for overall access to health care, which was backed by a ninth-place finish for older adult dental care and a top 20 ranking for senior wellness checkup availability.
Affordability was ranked #10 and health insurance enrollment finished at a solid #17. The AARP ranked New Hampshire as the seventh best state to retire in based on affordability, quality of life and healthcare. Of note, health care in New Hampshire ranked fourth for the entire nation given the vast number of programs aimed at helping seniors age in place in the comfort of their own homes.
Health services in New Hampshire are vast despite the state’s modest size. The Granite State continues to fund and support its Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, or BEAS, which prides itself on keeping the state’s older adult population happy, healthy and safe. BEAS offers adult residential care services, adult protection against fraud, support during investigations of fraud, behavioral health, supplemental food programs, family caregiver support services, food stamps, Meals on Wheels, nutrition and physical activity support groups, prescription drug assistance and transportation.
Unique to the state is its namesake community passport program that helps seniors transition out of long-term care facilities and back to their homes. Additionally, the state offers a Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program that benefits local co-ops.
New Hampshire takes elder care very seriously and looks to support older persons and aging adults well beyond help with medical alert systems. The state naturally has a low crime rate that helps older folks feel safe and get moving, especially during the fall foliage season. The state offers a senior-centric umbrella of programs known as BEAS, which helps educate and protect seniors against fraudulent scams as well as provide education campaigns about Medicare and other similar assistance programs.
The state invests nearly $10,000 per person when it comes to health-related care, but invests those funds in a way that enables seniors to age in place longer with the help of caregivers as well as medical alert monitoring devices.