Archive for the ‘AARP Bulletin’ Category

It’s Flu Season . . . Have You Gotten Your Shot?!

October 11, 2018

How does your state rank when it comes to flu vaccination for senior adults?  Here are the states with the highest (as well as the lowest) percentage of seniors (age 65+) who have reported getting a flu vaccine in the past year.

Highest percentage
1. West Virginia (67.5%)
2. Iowa (67.0%)
3.  Pennsylvania (65.5%)
4.  Missouri (64.9%)
5. Colorado (64.7%)
5. North Carolina (64.7%)
7. Oklahoma (64.3%)
8. South Dakota (63.4%)
9.  Virginia (63.0%)
10. Minnesota (62.9%)

Lowest percentage
1. Wisconsin (49.5%)
2. Oregon (51.5%)
3. Louisiana (51.6%)
4. Washington, DC (51.7%)
5.  Arizona (53.4%)
6. Idaho (53.6%)
7.  Arkansas (53.9%)
7.  Alaska (53.9%)
9. Nevada (54.1%)
10. Nebraska (54.8%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, October 2018 issue, p. 48; America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2018.

AARP’s Livability Index!

September 22, 2018

AARP rates every U.S. city, town, and neighborhood on seven categories (from more than 50 unique data sources) to come up with their livability index.  The categories include:

  • Health (prevention, access, and quality)
    • The best cities. . . East Palo Alto, Calif., and Menlo Park, Calif.
  • Housing (affordability and access)
    • The best city. . . Sun City, Ariz.
  • Engagement (civic and social involvement)
    • The best city . . . Fruit Cove, Fla.
  • Opportunity (inclusion and possibilities)
    • The best city . . . Tooele, Utah
  • Environment (clean air and water)
    • The best cities . . . Quincy, Ill., Anderson, S.C., Bloomington, Ind.*, Kent, Ohio*
  • Neighborhoods (access to life, work, and play)
    • The best cities . . . West New York, N.J., and Hoboken, N.J.*
  • Transportation (safe and convenient options)
    • The best city . . . Union City, N.J.

The most livable BIG cities (population of at least 500,000)
1. San Francisco, Calif.*
2. Boston, Mass.*
3. Seattle, Wash.*
4. Denver, Colo.*
5. Milwaukee, Wisc.*
6. New York, N.Y.*
7. Portland, Ore.*
8. Austin, Texas*
9. Philadelphia, Pa.*
10. Washington, D.C.*

The most livable small cities (population 100,000 to 499,999)
1. Madison, Wis.*
2. Arlington, Va.
3. St. Paul, Minn.
4. Boulder, Colo.*
5. Minneapolis, Minn.*
6. Rochester, Minn.*
7. Cambridge, Mass.*
8. Columbia, Md.
9. Alexandria, Va.
10. Berkeley, Calif.*

The most livable towns (population 25,000 to 99,999)
1. Fitchburg, Wis.
2. Sheboygan, Wis.
3. LaCross, Wis.*
4. Lafayette, Colo.
5. Silver Spring, Md.
6. Sun Prairie, Wis.
7. Bismark, N.D.
8. Brookline, Mass.
9. Harrisburg, Pa.
10. Portland, Maine*

*includes a major four-year university

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2018, pp. 34-35.

 

Some Early Week Humor!

September 18, 2018

Okay, so the week is just getting started, but I have always been of the opinion that humor is good anytime.  So here are a few gems to get your week rolling!

Tom: “I’ve been dating a girl who carries a Taser everywhere she goes.”
George: “What is she like?”
Tom: “Stunning.”

Fred: “I hate blood tests.”
Tom: “Me, too.  My blood is under enough pressure as it is.”

M: “I have your next assignment 007.  I am sending you to a party.”
007: “What are my orders?”
M: “Mingle.  Meet people.  Make friends . . . Bond, James.  Bond.”

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2018, p. 46.

Where Are The Voters?!

August 28, 2018

How well does your state turn out for elections?  The United States Election Project looked at the data (state by state) to see the percentage of the eligible population that voted in the 2014 midterm election.  Below are the states that had the highest as well as the lowest percentage turnouts.

Highest percentage
1. Maine (58.1%)
2. Wisconsin (56.6%)
3. Alaska (54.2%)
4. Colorado (53.7%)
5. Minnesota (50.4%)
6. Oregon (50.9%)
7. Iowa (49.8%)
8. New Hampshire (47.6%)
9. Montana (46.9%)
10. South Dakota (44.3%)

Lowest percentage
1. Indiana (27.8%)
2. New York (28.2%)
3. Texas (28.3%)
4. Tennessee (28.6%)
5. Mississippi (29.0%)
6. Nevada (29.3%)
7. Oklahoma (29.9%)
7. California (29.9%)
9. New Jersey (31.1%)
10. West Virginia (31.2%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2018, p. 42, and the United States Elections Project.

What Are The Odds?!

August 25, 2018

What are the odds that something “bad” will happen to you when enjoying the great outdoors?  The odds can vary greatly depending upon where you live (and/or where you visit), but let’s look at some random occurrences: snake bites, bear bites, and shark bites.

Re: snake bites, “fewer than one in 37,500 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year (7-8,000 bites per year), and only one in 50 million people will die from snakebite.” (Source: University of Florida, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

Re: bear attacks, “the chances of being injured by a bear are approximately one in 2.1 million.”  (Source: U.S. Park Service)

Re: shark attacks, the chances of being killed from a shark attack is one in 3.7 million. (Source: National Geographic)

The odds of more than one of these happening to the same person then become astronomical (I would guess) . . . and happen they did!  Dylan McWilliams of Grand Junction, Colorado, has survived all three of these attacks!  The odds: one in 893 quadrillion!  (Source: National Geographic)

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2018, p. 4.

 

Your Sales Tax is How High?!

May 29, 2018

Sales taxes (combined state and local sales tax rates) vary widely from state to state.  Do you know how your state fares?  Here are the most-taxed states as well as the least-taxed states courtesy of the May 2018 AARP Bulletin (sales tax rates as of January 1, 2018).

Highest Taxes
1. Louisiana (10.0%)
2. Tennessee (9.5%)
3. Arkansas (9.4%)
4. Washington (9.2%)
5. Alabama (9.1%)
6. Oklahoma (8.9%)
7. Kansas (8.7%)
7. Illinois (8.7%)
9.  New York (8.5%)
9. California (8.5%)
10. Arizona (8.3%)

Lowest Taxes
1. Montana (0.0%)
1. Oregon (0.0%)
1. (Delaware (0.0%)
1. New Hampshire (0.0%)
5. Alaska (1.8%)
6. Hawaii (4.4%)
7. Wisconsin (5.4%)
8. Wyoming (5.5%)
9. Virginia (5.6%)
10. Maryland (6.0%)
10. Kentucky (6.0%)
10. Idaho (6.0%)
10. Michigan (6.0%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, May 2018, p. 36; The Tax Foundation.  Note: the local sales tax was computed by averaging across the entire state.

How Do You Feel?!

April 28, 2018

The April issue of the AARP Bulletin examined the state-by-state rankings based upon the percentage of seniors (aged 65+) who “self-report” that their health is very good or excellent.

Who reports being healthy the most?
1. Colorado (52.3%)
2. New Hampshire (51.3%)
3.  Vermont (48.6%)
4. Minnesota (48.4%)
5. Idaho (48.3%)
6. Maine (48.0%)
7. Massachusetts (47.9%)
8. Montana (46.4%)
9. Utah (46.3%)
10. Arizona (45.6%)

Who reports being healthy the least?
1. Mississippi (29.0%)
2. Alabama (30.3%)
3. Oklahoma (32.3%) – yikes!
4. Louisiana (32.6%)
5. West Virginia (33.7%)
6. Kentucky (34.2%)
7. Arkansas (34.9%)
8. Tennessee (35.9%)
9. North Carolina (36.9%)
10. Texas (38.2%)
10. New York (38.2%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, April 2018, p. 40; CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; 2017 America’s Healthy Rankings Senior Report.

Looking for a Nursing Home?!

April 19, 2018

So, what are the chances that you will be able to find a bed in a quality, highly-rated facility in your state?  Here’s the breakdown (courtesy of the AARP Bulletin) by percentage of beds by state (highest versus lowest).

Highest percentage
1. Maine (56%)
1. Washington (56%)
3. Utah (55%)
3. Vermont (55%)
3. Minnesota (55%)
3. District of Columbia (55%)
7. Delaware (54%)
7. Rhode Island (54%)
9. New Hampshire (53%)
9. Colorado (53%)
10. New Jersey (52%)
10. Arizona (52%)
10. Idaho (52%)
10. Montana (52%)

Lowest percentage
1.West Virginia (26%)
2. Louisiana (27%)
3. North Carolina (28%)
3. Texas (28%)
5. Kentucky (30%)
6. Georgia (32%)
6. Oklahoma (32%)
6. New Mexico (32%)
9. Virginia (35%)
9. Illinois (35%)
9. Pennsylvania (35%)
10. Alabama (37%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, March 2018 issue, p. 44; U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; America’s Health Rankings/United Health Foundation.  All percentages are rounded.

Binge Drinking!

February 3, 2018

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), binge drinking is defined as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours.”  When it comes to the “who” re: binge drinking, the CDC further identified the following groups (for the full report, check out this CDC Fact Sheet):

  • One in six US adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.
  • Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years, but is reported across the lifespan.
  • The prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice the prevalence among women.
  • Binge drinking is more common among people with household incomes of $75,000 or more than among people with lower incomes. However, people with lower incomes binge drink more often and consume more drinks when they do.
  • Over 90% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
  • Most people younger than age 21 who drink report binge drinking, usually on multiple occasions.

Here is the breakdown by percentage per state (highest and lowest) for adults 65+ who report chronic (more than 1-2 drinks per day) or binge (more than 4-5 drinks at a time) drinking.

Highest percentage:
1. Alaska (10.7%)
2. Wisconsin (10.4%)
3. Nevada (9.8%)
3. Washington, DC (9.8%)
5. Hawaii (9.5%)
6. Oregon (9.4%)
7. Washington (8.5%)
8. Montana (8.3%)
8. Michigan (8.3%)
10. Illinois (8.0%)

Lowest percentage:
1. West Virginia (3.3%)
2. Tennessee (3.8%)
3. Mississippi (3.9%)
4. Arkansas (4.2%)
4. Oklahoma (4.2%)
4. Utah (4.2%)
7. Kentucky (4.3%)
8. South Dakota (4.5%)
8. Alabama (4.5%)
10. Kansas (4.8%)

Source: America’s Health Rankings: Senior Report 2017, AARP Bulletin, Jan-Feb 2018, p. 48.

Plugged In!

January 25, 2018

In our modern world, electricity is king.  And for some seniors, relying on electricity to keep their home health equipment running is a life-preserving reality.  How many seniors would be at risk in the event of a power failure?  Here are the state comparisons of the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who currently rely on electricity to keep their equipment running.  Oklahoma came in at 6.2% (middle of the pack).

Highest percentage
1. Wyoming (12.7%)
2. Colorado (11.9%)
3. Utah (11.1%)
4. New Mexico (9.8%)
5. West Virginia (8.2%)
6. Kentucky (7.6%)
7. Arkansas (7.3%)
7. Nevada (7.3%)
9. Idaho (7.0%)
9. Tennessee (7.0%)

Lowest percentage
1. Hawaii (2.1%)
2. District of Columbia (2.5%)
3. Rhode Island (2.6%)
4. New Jersey (3.1%)
5. Massachusetts (3.2%)
6. California (3.3%)
7. Maryland (3.4%)
7. New York (3.4%)
9. Connecticut (3.5%)
9. Wisconsin (3.5%)
9. Minnesota (3.5%)
9. Alaska (3.5%)

Sources: Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; AARP Bulletin, December 2017, p. 34.