— September is Emergency Preparedness Month—perfect timing for the 2017 Emergency Preparedness Expo in Mat-Su Valley. Cosponsored by AARP Alaska, the free expo is Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Menard Sports Center, 1001 S. Clapp St., Wasilla. Exhibits will include an Earthquake Cottage, which mimics the tremors that strike Alaska about 1,000 times a month; a “fashion show” of personal flotation devices; and an interactive firehouse. The first 100 adults to arrive will receive an emergency …

— Discrimination can lead to financial insecurity and isolation for many LGBT older adults. In Alaska, an AARP-backed coalition recently joined SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders), a national advocacy group with affiliates in 21 states. SAGE aims to ensure inclusion, security and quality of life for older LGBT adults and pursues policies to address their needs. “LGBT seniors are five times less apt to use senior services for fear of discrimination or not being accepted,” …

— The popular Sitka Arts & Science Festival, which features weeklong workshops for people interested in creative arts and nature, offers discount registration fees to AARP members. Participants can study photography, writing, ancient weaving techniques or sewing with fish skins. They can create music in a temperate rain forest or explore the science of rivers and watersheds. Tuition includes meals, lectures, excursions and other events, as well as accommodations on the historic campus. Two sessions are available, July 16-23 and July …

— Consumers need to re-evaluate each year to get the best value prescription coverage plan October 26, 2015 ANCHORAGE — The annual window for Medicare beneficiaries to review their prescription drug, or Part D, insurance plan options for next year is open until Dec. 7, 2015. Alaskans who get both Medicaid and Medicare can enroll or change plans any time. “Consumers should always compare plans, but this year it’s more important than ever,” said Judith Bendersky of Alaska’s Medicare Information Office. …

— Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) co-sponsored the legislation. AARP applauds the bipartisan action on S. 192, the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The Senate passed the bill the same week that we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the OAA. “AARP is thrilled with the passage of this bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Older Americans Act in the Senate and we urge the …

— The “Medicare Minute” program is making its debut in Alaska. The program is quickly becoming a popular tool for seniors to educate their peers about their Medicare benefits and to protect themselves from Medicare Fraud. The brainchild of the Medicare Rights Center, the “Medicare Minute” program was created and launched in New York in 2001. The “Medicare Minute” programs are short, engaging presentations on timely Medicare topics that are presented at local sites on a monthly basis. Volunteers are provided …

— Elder Mentors have been improving children’s success in Head Start, classroom and other community settings across Alaska for more than 30 years. By providing one-on-one help with school work, modeling social and cultural values, and offering emotional support to children with exceptional/special needs, Elder Mentor volunteers offer the intergenerational relationships so important to healthy child development. Alaska’s Elder Mentors serve through the national Foster Grandparent – Senior Corps Program. Program goals include increasing school readiness for preschool children, increasing school …

— Seniors like Janet and her husband Jim make up 13% of the Alaskans who need a little help with food each month. The Food Bank of Alaska distributes food boxes to more than 1,600 seniors every month in not only Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Kenai but also in rural locations from Wrangell to Copper Center. If you are a low-income senior who could benefit from this program or if you know a senior who could benefit, please contact Sandy Mitchell at …