Growing Old in No. 1 | Urban Living
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Growing Old in No. 1



To practice your Utah accent, repeat after me: "Lard, Darris, wat a garjus arnj farmal yur wearun!" (Translation: "Lord, Doris, what a gorgeous orange formal you're wearing!") Good job! Sister Dottie S. Dixon would be proud. Guess what? Utahr is sa speshul that we're now the bestest playce ta git old!

Call your folks, grab your grandmother's dentures and your grandaddy's reeking old Skechers and have them make Utah the last eternal place to live because just voted us the best state in which to grow old. This data collector found that the elderly in our state have great access to high-quality care that costs far below the national median. They report that our seniors pay about $35,000 annually for assisted living and about $48,000 for an in-home health aide. In reading the study, it looks like Utah shoves the Bengay up the butts of all other states by having excellent nursing-home costs, senior communities and more. Iowa came in second, followed by South Carolina, Washington and Nebraska.

Many folks in the capital city whom I know through work want to retire here or elsewhere in Utah. Torrey and Escalante are beautiful places but they aren't near health facilities. Moab is swell, but good luck finding housing there. And you'd have to love the temperature of hell if you want to live in St. George during the summer. As a native Utahn might say: Lard, Darris, it's sa hot down ta St. Gearge that you gots to eats hot chiles jus to cool yer mouth off. Ya gotta put ice in yur water bed! And the chickins lay the hard bowled eggs! The study found we are great in caring for our seniors but I'm not so sure it focused much on senior housing other than care centers.

There aren't many senior-only apartments or condos available along the Wasatch Front. It's also extremely hard to find one-level housing. Legacy Village of Sugar House opened its doors last month and made a dent in our dire needs for elder care. The six-level senior housing complex offers 286 luxury residential units, along with dining, meeting and activity rooms and a theater mixed in with main-floor retail and office space. Even though the state's average age is under 30, we have a ton of baby boomers who are getting long in the tooth (like me) and feeling the housing crunch.

Darris, it's jus swell ta have all them hospitals for us, but if ya ain't got no place to live but Pioneer Park, they ain't no use! It might be time to offer housing incentives to builders focusing on seniors—since we are now the No. 1 place to grow old.