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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Mixed outlook revealed in new well-being report for older adults

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Monday, June 3, 2024   

Older adults in Minnesota and across the nation are navigating various challenges that affect their quality of life. An annual report shows progress, but concerning trends continue to persist.

United Health Foundation has released its America's Health Rankings 2024 Senior Report.

Nationally, high-speed internet access rose to nearly 85%. However, an additional half million older adults fell into poverty.

Minnesota ranks 5th for overall well-being metrics for those 65 and older.

In Duluth, Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging Director Kristi Kane said more people are training to become geriatricians - but the regional healthcare workforce that serves seniors is still on shaky ground.

"We're also seeing," said Kane, "a lot of our quality medical staff leaving due to retirement. "

She said lack of affordable housing options also is being felt by this population, especially those trying to remain in smaller communities with limited resources.

On a brighter note, she said the region has built up a strong network of meal-delivery programs to help address food insecurity among older adults.

Dr. Rhonda Randall is a geriatrician, and an executive vice president and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual.

She said the annual findings are trying to add more nuance and data than previous reports.

"This report now looks at things like disability status, sexual orientation and veteran status," said Randall. "So, it really gives state policymakers and public health officials an ability to understand where the disparities exist."

For example, in Minnesota, drug deaths were nearly nine times higher among older Black adults than their white counterparts.

Nationally, overall drug deaths for this population have increased by more than 50% when compared with pre-pandemic reports.



Disclosure: UnitedHealthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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