The Mesothelioma Center recently put together a list of the 10 Best Cities for Senior Health. Three of those cities are in Florida — Sebastian-Vero Beach, Naples and The Villages.
Karen Selby, RN, authored the report and said, “As we age, having access to proper health care is one of the biggest components of maintaining a healthy life — especially for cancer patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of new cancers are diagnosed among those ages 60 years and older. There were more than 53 million Americans over the age of 65 in 2019, making up about 16 percent of the total population. By 2060, this number is projected to increase to 23 percent of the total population.”
“For mesothelioma patients,” she continued, “a healthy lifestyle is an important component of improving one’s life span and quality of life. A key factor in health is geographic location. So, to determine the best cities for senior health, we analyzed data from 100 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas with high populations of seniors, then looked at the metrics for each city.“
To determine the ten best cities, researchers analyzed the ratio of seniors to the total population, the average retirement income, the average life expectancy, the percentage of seniors in poverty, the percentage of seniors enrolled in Medicare, the number of senior living centers per capita and the number of cancer doctors per capita.
Home to 49,685 seniors — nearly 32 percent of the total population — the metro areas of Sebastian and Vero Beach, Florida, took the No. 2 spot for senior health.
“It’s no secret that Florida is home to some of the top-ranked places to live for seniors,” Shelby said. “Aside from the many senior living facilities in the area, living near miles of beaches could be a prime reason this area is good for senior health. A recent study found that those who live near coastal areas are linked to having better mental health, especially those in lower-income households.”
Naples ranked No. 5 for senior health and is home to 117,197 seniors. Naples has the highest average retirement income and is one of the cities with the highest average life expectancy — 82 years of age. Aside from being another beach city, Naples is one of the top-rated cities in the nation for air quality, according to the American Lung Association — which is an important factor for seniors with underlying lung health conditions.
The Villages came in at No. 6. It has the highest population of seniors in the nation, with 70,918 seniors making up about 57 percent of the total city population. This city ranked No. 3 for the highest average retirement income and has the largest amount of the population – over 50 percent – enrolled in Medicare. Because more than half of The Villages’ population is seniors, proximity to senior living facilities is more accessible than in most places, with about 62 senior living facilities per capita.
The complete list is found here.