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How does Washington rate as a place to grow old?

Mary Whitten of Bellingham and other participants enjoy a Silver Sneakers exercise class in November at the Whatcom Family YMCA. A new study ranks Washington as the 11th-best state in which to grow old.
Mary Whitten of Bellingham and other participants enjoy a Silver Sneakers exercise class in November at the Whatcom Family YMCA. A new study ranks Washington as the 11th-best state in which to grow old. For The Bellingham Herald

Washington is the 11th-best state in which to grow old, according to a new Caring.com report that examined a variety of financial, health care and quality-of-life categories.

Washington ranked well in quality of life and health care, but senior care is expensive in Washington and that dragged down its ranking.

South Dakota topped the list, followed by Iowa in second, and Minnesota in third.

The study found there’s generally an inverse relationship between the cost and quality of senior care. South Dakota and Iowa, for example, offer excellent care at below-average prices, according to the report. Among the 15 states with the cheapest senior care, just two, South Carolina and Kansas, ranked in the top half for quality.

Oregon, which came in fifth, ranked fourth in the quality-of-life and health care studies and rated high in long-term care and supports for seniors. But senior care there was pricey, with a year in assisted living costing about $50,000 and a home health aide topping $51,000.

The report used data on quality of life in a given area for residents over 55, quality of health care, long-term care, support for seniors and family caregivers, affordability of senior care, and more than 100,000 ratings of senior-care providers in each state.

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