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PSY 180 - Psychology of Aging - Textbook


Where the Healthiest Seniors Roam

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Basic Terms

  • well-being
  • healthcare access
  • depression
  • arthritis
  • physical activity
  • resilience
  • strong interpersonal bonds


(Learning Objectives, Key Points, and Basic Terms content by Professor Stacey Cooper is licensed under CC BY 4.0.)


As the population of American seniors continues to climb, the country's medical community confronts new opportunities and challenges related to their care. The number of individuals aged 65 and older is projected to double in the coming decades, reaching over 98 million by 2060. And while these older Americans are living longer than ever before, their longevity puts them on a collision course with chronic illness. Nearly 6 in 10 adults aged 65 and older have hypertension, almost half have high cholesterol, and more than a quarter have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Yet for seniors pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle, there's also much reason for hope. While genetics play a large role in long-term health outcomes, environmental factors and attitudes may contribute just as much to staying in great shape well past one's 60s. In this project, we studied the health of seniors in each state, using data sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our findings suggest broad improvement in the well-being of older Americans nationwide, as well as areas in which senior health remains a troubling concern. Which states can claim the healthiest seniors? Keep reading to find out.

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