These Are the Best and Worst States for Growing Older

Cold-weather states offer high-quality elder care at lower costs.

When it comes to senior care, you generally get what you pay for. In most states, low costs correlate with relatively poor elder care and vice versa. But there are exceptions—a few states offer the right combination of high-quality senior care services at a lower cost, as well as an excellent quality of life.

Those are the findings of a new study from, an online care-giving adviser, which ranked the best and worst states for aging. The rankings are based in part on long-term care services (home health aides, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes), as reported in the Genworth cost of care survey. Other metrics included health care, quality of care, quality of life and well-being data from research led by AARP and Gallup-Healthways, as well as consumer ratings of senior care providers.

South Dakota leads the pack as the best state to grow old in, according to the survey. The state earned top scores for high-quality health care and senior care, as well as one of the highest well-being ratings. Iowa came in second, followed by Minnesota, Alaska and Oregon.

Landing in the bottom five are Indiana, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia, which ranks as the worst state to grow old. Although long-term care is relatively affordable in West Virginia, the state lagged on quality of life and ranked dead last in the health care category.


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