Wyoming is famous for its natural beauty, but its expanses of wilderness are one reason it is the toughest U.S. state for seniors to live in, according to recently released rankings that looked at the costs of care and accessibility of services.
The Cowboy State ranked No. 38 in the cost of care category on the list from Caring.com, a web platform that connects consumers with senior housing and care providers. To calculate that affordability score, the researchers used internal Caring.com data as well as the 2017 Cost of Care report from insurer Genworth.
The annual median cost for assisted living in Wyoming is about $50,000 and the annual median cost for nursing home care is about $85,000—both numbers are close to the national median. The annual median cost of an in-home health aide is $61,776, which is higher than the national median of about $49,000.
However, Wyoming ranked No. 49 in the accessibility of services category, which was based on data from the 2017 Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard from AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation.
“This isn’t all that surprising given how rural and sparse Wyoming is,” said Stephan Weller, professor of economics at Colorado State University’s Regional Economic Development Institute, in a Caring.com website post detailing the findings. “They simply have fewer facilities and support networks than other more densely populated parts of the country.”
Considering both the care costs and the lack of services, Wyoming took the title of most expensive state for older adults. It was joined on the “most expensive” list by other rural states as well as some with high costs of living, such as New York:
2. Rhode Island
3. New Jersey
5. North Dakota
7. New York
9. New Hampshire
On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Missouri ranked as the most affordable states.
Click here to see all 50 states ranked.
Written by Tim Mullaney