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Cover for the book Aging Across the United States

Aging Across the United States

Matching Needs to States’ Differing Opportunities and Services Charles Lockhart, and Jean Giles-Sims
  • Copyright: 2010
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Illustrations:
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03756-1
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-03757-8
Aging Across the United States is a significant contribution to scholarly understanding of the differences among states in the opportunities and services that they provide for older residents. Never before in the gerontological literature has such a wide array of comparative quantitative indicators been integrated into a single volume. Through engaging case studies of older people, the book also shows how those who are geographically mobile can make a series of moves late in life to take advantage of what various states have to offer. The case studies will stimulate thinking among people approaching retirement about whether they should plan to relocate to another state, and if so, where. Public officials in states will find the indicators useful in refining their policies to attract and retain productive and affluent older people. State officials will also be sensitized to the dilemma that strong, publicly subsidized supportive services for dependent older people encourage in-migration of older people who are attracted to the services. At another level, the book invites questions about why the federal government does not do more to assist states in making it attractive for their older residents to remain a part of the communities in which they have lived most of their adult lives.”
Aging Across the United States combines practical advice with scholarly research to score each state on a scale of State Senior Friendliness. Coverage of all fifty states makes this book more useful than most where-to-retire guides, and so does the inclusion of opportunities for civic involvement and community service along with the usual health care, long-term care, affordability, safety, and social and recreation components found in other guides. Scholars of public policy, federalism, and the politics of aging will find the analyses in this book of interest as well.”
“Lockhart and Giles-Sims provide a sophisticated road map for the changing terrain of retirement and aging. Their book combines scholarship with very useful information for a general audience and deserves wide notice.”

Older Americans experience stages of aging with distinct priorities. For younger retirees, climate can be most important; for older retirees, quality of health care. Various states support these and other priorities to sharply different degrees. While many Americans know which states offer mild climates for outdoor recreation, they rarely know which states offer the best medical care to Medicare patients. This book tells them and suggests sequential moves to take advantage of states’ varying strengths.

Charles Lockhart is Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University.

Jean Giles-Sims is Professor of Sociology at Texas Christian University.


List of Figures/Maps

List of Tables



1. Finding Active Fun and Companionship in a Warm Climate

2. Making Meaningful Contributions and Finding Supportive Communities

3. Finding Affordability and Safety

4. Sustaining Health and Obtaining High-Quality Medical Care

5. Finding Accessible and High-Quality Long-Term Care

6. Putting It All Together: Explaining State Variation in Senior Friendliness


Appendix: State Rankings


Selected Readings


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