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Illinois Ranks in Bottom Third Of States for Senior Health

America’s Health Rankings Annual Report on Senior Health has Illinois at #36 overall, naming our most pressing challenges as:

  • High prevalence of obesity
  • Low percentage of quality nursing home beds

Illinois Nursing Home Care and Funding for Elder Services Also in the Bottom Third
According to the report, Illinois seniors are 40th on the list for excessive drinking, 46th for obesity and 36th for physical inactivity.

Our ranking for nursing home quality was 41st. Nursing home quality was defined as the percentage of certified nursing homes rated with 4 or 5 stars by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over a three-month period. We also ranked 33rd for community support, a criterion that addressed the amount of Older Americans Act (OAA) spending per adult for services that enable them to remain in their homes. Meal, transportation, personal care and other benefits funded by OAA are considered critical in reducing the number of senior deaths, as well as the number of seniors who live in nursing homes known for providing poor care.

Our state also is at the bottom of the list when it comes to the number of our seniors who receive flu vaccines. Last month, we covered a recent study that proved that flu vaccines in the elderly are tied to less hospitalizations and deaths.

Illinois seniors also are readmitted to the hospital more frequently than seniors in the majority of U.S. states. We rank 38th for hospital readmissions, with 15% of Medicare recipients over age 65 readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of being discharged.

To View America’s Health Ranking’s Annual Report, please click here.