Turns out, this place is pretty cool for the old people, too. Minnesota got the Number 1 ranking on the AARP's state-by-state study of services provided for older people and adults with disabilities.
The study looked at affordability, access, and quality of care given to the elderly and disabled, among other factors. Among all the major categories the study considered, Minnesota ranked in the top five in each.
The Midwest, and the extreme Northeast and Northwest did best in the study. As for the worst, if you have an old or disabled relative anywhere in the South, you might as well set them adrift on the Atlantic and wish them well.
Of the 25 factors taken into account in making the list, Minnesota is ranked in the top five in 11 of them. That includes some of the most important ones: For example, the state's No. 1 in the country for the most home health and personal care aides per person over the age of 65, with an astonishing 108 healthcare aides per 1,000 senior citizen. The average American state has only 34 aides per 1,000 seniors.
There's only one measure where Minnesota rates in the bottom five nationally, but it's kind of a big one. While at-risk Minnesotans are insured at a higher rate than other states, they're also paying a lot: Minnesota ranks 48th in average annual cost of in-home care, which costs 110 percent of median household income. That is, if you're old or disabled, and need in-home care, it'll cost you more than the average healthy, working Minnesotan makes all year.
All in all though, these are pretty fantastic numbers. And they're a lot better than the entire South, where poverty and low public spending numbers are a recipe for rankings disaster. Once you get below Ohio, things get ugly: Tennessee (45), Kentucky (46), West Virginia (49), Alabama (50), and Mississippi (51) all seem like pretty bad places to be when you need some help. Even Florida, with its gigantic population of seniors, doesn't do all that well at taking care of them, coming in at No. 44.
City Pages' advice is to ignore your instincts and move north as you get older, in the hopes of someday reaching the promised land of Canada. But take a look for yourself at the map, and see where you want to get old.