Long Life Is About More Than Money

Posted on September 7, 2016 by RevLocal Content under Uncategorized
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Long Life Is About More Than Money

I read a lot of journals and articles that pertain to the healthcare and funeral industries. Recently I came across an article that I just found intriguing and decided to share this information. It was titled: “The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters.” View an interactive national map here.

  • In some parts of the country, adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter.
  • The gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001-14, with the top 1 percent living up to 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent.
  • The biggest differences in life spans among the poor were based on where people live.

At first, people thought that more wealth buys better-quality medical care, but evidence from the research suggests that the affluent tend to have healthier lifestyles (they exercise more, smoke less, and are less likely to be obese). It may also flow the other way in that people who are healthier are able to hold better jobs and so have more income.

However, research also shows that where you live plays a large role in life spans for the poor. There is a region of the country where the poor have the shortest life spans; it is referred to as the “drug overdose belt” and it relates to the opioid epidemic in our country. This region covers areas from Michigan to Texas. Additionally, statistics also report shorter life spans for the poor in Nevada and Wyoming.

Where the Poor Live the Longest

Men

New York City, NY 79.5

San Jose, CA 79.5

Santa Barbara, CA 79.4

Santa Rosa, CA 79

Los Angeles, CA 79

San Francisco, CA 78.8

San Diego, CA 78.8

Miami, FL 78.3

Newark, NJ 78.2

Boston, MA 78.1

Women

Miami, FL 84.2

New York City, NY 84

Santa Barbara, CA 84

San Jose, CA 83.7

San Diego, CA 83.4

Port St. Lucie, FL 83.3

Newark, NJ 83.2

Los Angeles, CA 83.2

Portland, ME 83.1

Providence, RI 83.1

The gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001-14, with the top 1 percent living up to 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent.

Do you have any idea in what cities the poor have the shortest life expectancy? Read on…

Where the Poor Live the Shortest

Men

Gary, IN 74.2

Indianapolis, IN 74.6

Detroit, MI 74.8

Louisville, KY 74.9

Tulsa, OK 74.9

Toledo, OH 74.9

Oklahoma City, OK 75

Dayton, OH 75.1

Knoxville, TN 75.1

Las Vegas, NV 75.1

Women

Las Vegas, NV 80

Oklahoma City, OK 80.2

Tulsa, OK 80.3

Honolulu, HI 80.3

Detroit, MI 80.5

Cincinnati, OH 80.5

Indianapolis, IN 80.6

Des Moines, IA 80.6

Gary, IN 80.7

Little Rock, AK 80.7

What I found the most disturbing about these charts is the number of cities in Ohio that are on the second chart. What is it about these regions (other than the drug incidents) that correlate to lower life spans? And what can be done to improve those statistics?

Healthcare experts who reviewed the study believe that wide access to social, educational, and economic opportunity can improve health in a community. For example, greater access to vaccinations and mammograms can affect lifespan as well as smoking bans and availability of healthcare for the uninsured. A community’s social health policies affect lifespans for the poorer populations.

So how does all this information relate to those in the healthcare and funeral industries? In the Columbus area the average life expectancy is 78.2, which is average as compared to the rest of the country. However, Central Ohio is taking steps to make more programs available to help the poorer populations become healthier. Programs such as free fruits and vegetables, free clinics, free exercise classes and education, and many others are available through Franklin and surrounding counties. It is good to be aware of these programs for those populations that would benefit from them. But it is also important to understand how a family’s socioeconomic standing can affect their grieving after losing a loved one.

This year Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service launched two new divisions within the company (Hope & Heart and Buckeye Cremation Society) with the idea that we want to be able to help everyone regardless of their financial picture. Visit our website www.thecaregivingtree.com to learn more about the Schoedinger family of brands.

Have more questions? Click here to contact us today.

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