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Growing Old in Suburbia: A Challenge for our Nation’s Elderly - A North Shore-LIJ Health System Study
Date:3/2/2013

do get around rather easily, according to the survey results. Only two percent rely on public transportation, three percent walk, and the others either drive or have someone drive them. More than 80 percent said that they drive their own cars. And even the oldest old – those over age 85 – say that they manage to get where they need to be. However, seniors who are in the worst health were most likely to indicate that they had problems getting to a pharmacy and grocery store.

“There is a lot of good news in this study,” said Dr. Pekmezaris. She said that nearly half of respondents (46 percent) reported that they are in very good-to-excellent health. Only 25 percent said that their health was fair or poor. Co-investigators of the study included Jeffrey Kraut, senior vice president for Strategic Planning and Business Informatics, and Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

“The suburbs are the center of change in this country and seniors are very much a part of that,” said Mr. Levy. “The more we can learn about them, as we do in this groundbreaking study, the better we can help them live as they would like to live.”

Nearly all seniors said that they were taking at least one prescription medicine. Most seniors reported being treated for hypertension and one-third for arthritis. One-third reported having heart disease and one in five reported having been diagnosed with cancer. About 20 percent said they had diabetes and about 10 percent were told that they are obese. (Obesity was more common among those with less than a high school education and who rated their health as poor.)
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