2017 started off with a bang! Our team of staff and volunteers has worked tirelessly to protect programs that impact 50+ Mainers at the state and federal levels. We implemented new programming in many communities in an effort to connect more directly with our members. We expanded our Age-Friendly Community Network to 30 over communities across Maine and we continue to boast more age-friendly communities than any other state in the nation.

As you will see, much of this year’s advocacy work is focused on protecting health care and fighting for the Maine Caregiver Tax Credit.  The new legislative session began in January, and since then we’ve been hard at work in Augusta advocating for support of family caregivers. Recently, AARP Maine staff, surrounded by members and volunteers, testified in support of a non-refundable credit that would provide up to $2,500 in relief for family caregivers who have an income of less than $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a couple. “Family caregivers take on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, stressful and emotionally and physically exhausting, not to mention financially challenging,” stated Rich Livingston, AARP Maine Volunteer State President, to the Committee.  “We can take this important policy step to help make their lives a little bit easier.

Our member social events will continue through the spring. If you are in Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Waterville, York, or Brunswick, check out our latest opportunities to connect with AARP members in your area. You have shared that you are enjoying these opportunities and we really enjoying meeting and visiting with you at these get-togethers.

Many of you share our Fraud Watch Wednesday tips that we post on our blog and on our social media sites (aarpmaine) each week.  You can send us a note at me@aarp.org if you have a scam alert you would like to see included in the upcoming weeks.  Please don’t forget to place a freeze on your credit report.  This is considered the best way to protect yourself from identity theft.  Please also make sure you register for our upcoming event with Catch Me If You Can author and fraud expert Frank Abagnale on April 20th in Portland.  The event is free, but registration is required.

Speaking of identity theft, don’t forget to shred your sensitive documents at our upcoming free shredding events!

I want to acknowledge those of you who have reached out with concerns over remarks in Washington about Medicare vouchers and the age rating or “age tax” proposed as part of the new health care reform bill.  AARP opposed both proposals and we will continue to track these issues closely in Washington.  You can read our recap of the American Healthcare Act here. We know how important these programs are to so many of you. If you are interested in working with us on our campaigns, please let us know. The more voices we can raise on these critical issues, the better.

As always, we love hearing from you. We also welcome your feedback and ideas, so please keep in touch!

Wishing you and your family all the best, Lori

Photo: AARP Maine Staff

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