New report highlights factors that influence healthy aging in Massachusetts; includes new indicators and comprehensive community profiles for every city and town
The 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report was released today. The comprehensive examination of the health of older people in the Commonwealth offers detailed profiles of every city and town, maps and other tools to understand healthy aging trends and disparities throughout the state. Prepared by a research team at the Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the report was funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation. Highlights were shared at a meeting of the Governor's Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts.
"Massachusetts is one of only three states to have access to such comprehensive data on healthy aging," said Thomas Croswell, president and chief executive officer of Tufts Health Plan. "We hope this new edition will spur more cities and towns to consider how they can become better places to grow up and grow old."
2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report
includes Community Profiles for all 351 cities and towns, 16 Boston neighborhoods, 6 Worcester neighborhoods, and 6 Springfield neighborhoods. The website includes more than 179 statewide health indicator maps. The data report shows the distribution of disease, health behaviors and the extent to which health varies by zip code across the state.
"The Healthy Aging Data Report is an invaluable resource for cities and towns across the Commonwealth," said Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner. "Developing data-driven priorities and approaches is a cornerstone of creating more livable and welcoming communities for older adults. We are grateful for the Tufts Health Plan Foundation's contribution and leadership in this area."
It's estimated that by 2030, 1 of every 5 people in the United States will be over 65. Massachusetts already has a million residents over 65, about 15% of the state's population.
"Since our last report (2015), Massachusetts gained approximately 125,000 more people age 65 and older. The aging population in Massachusetts is growing, and is growing more racially and ethnically diverse, too," said principal investigator Elizabeth Dugan, PhD, who is an associate professor at the Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. "The research team aims to equip policymakers and service providers with the information needed to make policies and practices that give everyone a fair chance to experience healthy aging."
State leaders, including Governor Charlie Baker and the members of the Council to Address Aging, along with the
Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative
, AARP-MA and communities throughout the Commonwealth, have shown commitment to making Massachusetts an age-friendly state. The report provides tools that can make that possible.