Health and Healthcare Among the Rural Aging
Rural quality of life and the experience of aging are directly related to health and well-being. Longer life spans are generally thought to be desirable; however, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, disability and limitation of activities associated with aging pose difficult challenges for those living in rural places. Diseases of the heart, cancer and stroke are leading causes of death in the United States (US). Of great concern is the growing prevalence in the US population of those who are overweight, obese and have the chronic disease diabetes. Among the near-elderly, those aged 50–69, medical care spending for the severely obese (those with BMI at 35 or higher) is 60 % higher than those of normal weight (Thorpe et al. J Rural Health 20(2):151–159, 2004). The health and well-being of those who choose to age in place in rural America are influenced by personal characteristics (poverty, marital status, living alone) and decisions (physical exercise and diet) as well as access to quality food systems, social support, transportation and medical care.
KeywordsFood Insecurity Collective Efficacy Medicare Part Household Food Insecurity Farm Operator
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