Florida ranks poorly in elderly life study

Aug. 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

MIAMI, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A spokesman for AARP Florida said South Florida's recent low ranking in a study of the top places to grow old should be a "wake-up call."

The Milken Institute in California ranked 100 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas to find the best places to grow old and the South Florida metropolitan area, which the survey described as stretching from Miami to Jupiter, was ranked at No. 38, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Monday.

Anusuya Chatterjee, a co-author of the study, said South Florida ranked poorly in areas including crime rates, number of caregivers available for the elderly and percentage of hospitals with geriatric services.

Dave Bruns, spokesman for AARP Florida, said the good weather and affordability draw people to South Florida, but priorities change as people age.

"This is a wake-up call for Florida policy makers," Bruns said of the study. "The Legislature should pay much more attention to nourishing an array of long-term services that help people remain in their communities."

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