By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor
Contrary to commercialized images of the senior living ideal, elders don’t need sunny skies and palm trees to age well.
What they do need, according to the “Best Cities for Successful Aging” report by the Milken Institute, is actually a far more complex set of circumstances.
“We define that [successful aging] as living in a safe, affordable, engaging and connected community,” says Milken COO Paul Irving, in a video describing the study. The report delves into the true necessities of aging adults. “It’s not about the cities with the most sunny days, or the greatest number of golf courses,” he says.
Most studies that focus on uncovering the ‘top cities to grow old in’ draw their conclusions from surveys of elderly residents.
The Milken study took a different approach, using the knowledge of a panel of elder care experts to develop a list of dozens different metrics of “successful aging.” Researchers then evaluated and ranked over 350 cities nationwide on factors such as: average cost of living, number of doctors and hospital beds, rates of Alzheimer’s, obesity and mental illness, number of grocery stores, and opportunities for employment and volunteerism.
The cities were categorized into two groups (large and small) based on the size of their population.
Next: The Top Five Large Cities for Aging