Kentucky ranks 49th in seniors’ well-being, new survey shows

WellBeingFor the seventh year in a row, Kentucky has been ranked as the second-lowest state when it comes to the well-being of people aged 55 and older, beating out only West Virginia.

The rankings  are part of the 2015 Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series. Kentucky’s “well-being index score” was 61.2, ranking just ahead of West Virginia (59.9) and just below Oklahoma (62.0), Ohio (62.5), Indiana and Vermont (62.7 each). The score is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best. Hawaii ranked No. 1, with a score of 67.0.

The analysis ranks states according to five different measures of well-being for seniors and then ranks them based on the overall score. Those measures (with Kentucky’s ranks noted in parentheses) are:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals (48)
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life (46)
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security (41)
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community (40)
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily (49)

James Kimbrough, president of AARP Kentucky, told Darla Carter of The Courier-Journal that he thought the problem was rooted in poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity and said he would like to see state’s legislative leaders be public role models in these areas.

“The healthiest states in the country have a culture of encouraging people to exercise, to be outdoors, to not sit in front of the TVs,” he said.