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Alabama’s #7 Health Indicator

Geriatrics is a specialty that focuses on the health of individuals over 65 years old. With the elderly population rising nationally, health concerns regarding geriatrics increased from the tenth to the seventh leading health indicator in AL. The Baby Boom generation has the largest population influx in the history of the U.S. As subsequent generations enter retirement age, it is projected that almost 25 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 years or older by 2060 (US Census Bureau Projected Age Statistics). Elderly people often need more health resources and spend more of their income on healthcare (CDC Promoting Health for Older Adults).

The aging population can experience numerous health issues due to multiple chronic diseases. A multigenerational health plan helps older adults remain at home, maintain control of their health, and continue their routines without much interruption. Elderly populations with regular connections to their family consistently report much less depression, better physical health, and higher life satisfaction (CDC Promoting Health for Older Adults).

Disproportionately Affected Populations

Elderly citizens who need extra support may need additional care by an in-home nurse or relocated to a nursing home. There may be additional factors preventing a person from getting access to care, such as the inability to drive, forgetting their scheduled provider appointment(s), and having mobility problems (CDC Promoting Health for Older Adults).

Geographic Variation

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities are the primary location for elderly individuals who cannot independently take care of themselves. However, rurality still plays a role in the number of long-term care facilities open and the doctors’ availability for routine specialized care for chronic disease management.

Alabama Geriatrics Highlights

Data are retrieved from the AL Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in AL with 54.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019.
  • In AL, rural areas have a higher rate of adult abuse cases (19.2 cases per 10,000 persons), than urban areas for 2019 (17.3 cases per 10,000 persons).

Health Indicators

The following indicators have been selected for use in developing a benchmark or starting point for measuring the current state of and monitoring future changes regarding the elderly population of Alabama:


Page last updated: July 11, 2023