Communications Manager - AARP Illinois

Gerardo Cardenas


Gerardo joined AARP in 2008 and is responsible for developing and implementing the State Office’s internal and external communications strategies, as well as its relations with Illinois media outlets. From 2004 through 2007, he was the Chicago Press Secretary for the Governor of Illinois. Gerardo worked as a journalist for newspapers, wire services, radio and television for over 20 years in Mexico, the United States and Europe before settling in Chicago in 1998, where he helped found Hoy – Chicago’s only Spanish-language daily newspaper. He was Hoy’s assignment editor until 2004. Originally from Mexico, he holds a B.A. in Journalism from Universidad Iberoamericana, and a Masters in Public Policy from National-Louis University.

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Honoring Those Who Make A Difference

Publicada el 13/03/2017 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

Individuals ages 50 and older make tremendous contributions to improve our communities. Their life and professional experiences shape and inform their ability to disrupt, innovate, and create. They truly are champions and trailblazers, and their efforts and groundbreaking contributions need to be recognized. That’s why AARP Illinois and Crain’s Chicago Business have joined together to launch 50@50+ Illinois – a recognition of Illinoisans over the age of 50 who are making a positive impact in their communities. They don’t adhere …

It’s time for Illinoisans to say: ‘Enough is Enough!’

Publicada el 9/12/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

By Ryan Gruenenfelder   For too long Illinois has been without a comprehensive, balanced budget that helps make life better for residents of all ages. Since 2002, the Governor and the General Assembly have failed to pass a truly balanced budget. And for almost two years, the State has operated without anything beyond a ‘stop-gap’ budget.  This budgetary inaction has led to a current fiscal year 2017 budget deficit of somewhere between $5.4 billion to $7.8 billion, depending on whose …

Caregiving Month in Illinois: Many reasons to celebrate!

Publicada el 1/11/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

Millions of family caregivers in Illinois will have many reasons to celebrate during National Caregiving Month in November, as new laws will provide much and urgently needed help for them as they take care of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of AARP, the Hospital Association and other groups, the Illinois CARE Act will help to significantly increase coordination between caregivers and hospitals. The law requires hospitals to: Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a family …

Inquiring Minds with Dr. Maraganore

Publicada el 12/07/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

We received such positive feedback from last month’s blog post, so I’m sharing a few additional questions I’ve recently received from patients and their families. Should you have a question of your own, please comment below so others can benefit from the discussion. Q: I am 45 years old and want to know if there is a vitamin that could protect me from getting Alzheimer’s/dementia when I grow older? Agnes, Wauconda A: There is evidence that vitamin D deficiency is …

Take Charge of Your Arthritis

Publicada el 27/06/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

The link between what you eat and how you feel is real, which is great news for people with arthritis. Research suggests that anti-inflammatory diets (low in sugars, carbohydrates and gluten and high in omega-3 fatty acids, olive oils and fiber) can help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Besides a healthful boost, this type of diet almost always leads to some surprising and rapid weight loss, taking pressure off bones and joints. Don’t be intimidated by the mistaken idea that …

A Conversation on Brain Health with Dr. Maraganore

Publicada el 12/06/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

I am often asked about ways to reduce the risk of developing certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The following are a few recent questions that have been posed online and through social media, along with my responses, so you, too, can understand the significance of healthy lifestyle choices and early testing to maintain brain health.   Q: Are there specific mental activities that you recommend to older adults who want to prevent brain disorders such …

Why a Woman’s Risk for Alzheimer’s is Unique

Publicada el 8/05/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

By Demetrius M. Maraganore, MD   The women in our lives are irreplaceable, and it is important that they take every precaution to stay healthy. Last year, the Alzheimer’s Association named women as the “epicenter” of the Alzheimer’s disease crisis. An estimated 3.2 million American women are living with the disease today. Women face a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s – one in five women are at risk of developing the disease, while for men the risk is 1 in …

Illinois Resident Named National Volunteer of the Year for AARP Driver Safety

Publicada el 4/05/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

For the second consecutive year, a volunteer from Illinois has received the highest recognition from AARP Driver Safety, which runs the nation’s largest safe-driving course. George Goodwin, who hails from Downers Grove, a suburb just west of Chicago, received the prestigious Michael Seaton National Volunteer of the Year Award, named after the founder of the AARP Driver Safety program in 1979. Goodwin was selected from AARP Driver Safety’s volunteer force of over 4,200 dedicated individuals throughout all 50 states, the …

Brain Health for Parkinson’s Disease, Too

Publicada el 20/04/2016 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

By Demetrius M. Maraganore, MD We’ve spent several months on this blog discussing brain health as it relates to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Since April marks National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, I’d like to “branch out” and emphasize that preserving brain health can minimize your risk for multiple neurodegenerative diseases. There are approximately one million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and at least another one million who are caring for someone with PD. I’ve spent much of my career treating and …

Caring for Sarah: Caregiving Is The Next Big Thing (And I am Not Exaggerating!)

Publicada el 22/08/2014 por | AARP Blog Author Comments

Caregiving is a social and health care issue that has slowly emerged in the public sphere as the Baby Boomer generation has been getting older, and older individuals have increasingly expressed a preference to stay in their own homes and communities, close to family and friends, rather than in costly institutions. It is not anecdotal. Speaking only from the vantage point of my home state, Illinois, I can say this: 3 in 4 Illinoisans ages 50 and older prefer to …