Seasonal migration and health care

J Aging Health. 1994 Feb;6(1):111-32. doi: 10.1177/089826439400600107.


This article examines health care use and issues among seasonal migrants in an urban setting in the Sunbelt. The study, based on a survey of 230 American and Canadian snowbirds in Phoenix, Arizona, complements previous research on health care use among Canadian snowbirds in Florida. Our results show that health care use among seasonal migrants in Phoenix is substantial, and it varies by citizenship (American vs. Canadian), age, number of winter visits, and length of winter stay. We argue that health care use is symptomatic of social and emotional attachments to the winter residence that develop and deepen over a period of years. Phoenix snowbirds view their lifestyles as healthy, they are adept in adjusting to health decrements, and the majority plan to continue spending time in both their summer and winter residences as long as their health permits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arizona
  • Canada / ethnology
  • Catchment Area, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Seasons
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Travel*