HealthDay recently published the results of a new study that found the overall health of seniors to be improving. The largest gains in healthy lifestyles, however, occur in well-educated, rich, and white seniors. Researchers were somewhat surprised by the results, since, seniors uniformly have access to Medicare, and thus should get the medical care that they need, regardless of race, income, or education. Nonetheless, these disparities have only continued to widen over time, which seems to debunk the commonly held notion that people with access to health care are healthier in general.
Federal government data concerning over 55,000 adults over the age of 65 shows a 14 percent increase in those who reported being in good health between 2000 and 2014. The study focused on seniors who reported being in good health at least twice in one calendar year. Seniors with graduate degrees saw the biggest increases in health lifestyles, while there were virtually no gains among seniors with only high school diplomas. Likewise, 52% of the seniors who reported being in good health had higher incomes, whereas only 31% of seniors with higher incomes reported being in poor health. White seniors saw the greatest gains in good health, but the rate of good health remained flat for black and Hispanic seniors, although there were gains among people of other racial or ethnic groups. Curiously, seniors who never had been married also saw reclining rates of good health over this time period.
This study shows that while access to health care and doctors clearly is essential, many other factors in a person’s life also seem to affect the level of his or health. While seniors are getting healthier as a general rule, there are still situations in which some seniors need long-term care. At Boller & Vaughan, we are here to stand up for the rights of senior citizens and their families who have suffered substantial injuries, whether physical, emotional, or financial, while under the care of those who are supposed to prevent such injuries from occurring. Contact us today at (608) 268-0268, set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin elder abuse attorneys, and discover how we can help.