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— 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 …

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— State lawmakers recently passed the Employee Sick Leave Act, which allows family caregivers to use up to half of their sick leave benefits at work to take time off for a family member’s illness, injury or medical appointments. AARP Illinois was the leading advocate for the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1. More than 1.5 million Illinoisans are family caregivers, and many struggle to balance their paid work with the responsibilities of caring for a sick parent, spouse, …

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— By Smita Patel, DO   Dear Readers, For many families, Thanksgiving and football go hand-in-hand.  But over the years we have learned the stories of football players experiencing the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition that can be caused by the hundreds or thousands of mini-concussions generated during play of football.  CTE is also common among boxers, is a risk with hockey, soccer, rugby, professional wrestling and mixed martial arts and affects many combat veterans and victims of …

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— Saturday, November 19th, AARP was proud to support the 2016 Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA)  at a dinner held at Furama Restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown area.  Executive Council Member, Nancy Chen and AARP’s Manager of Advocacy and Outreach Ryan Gruenenfelder, represented AARP as it received the “Sponsorship Appreciation Award” for supporting MAHA and the thousands of individuals they served in 2016.    

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— By Leon Benson, MD Spending time in the kitchen this Thanksgiving? Putting up holiday lights? Clearing the front walk? It’s that time of the year when people do a lot of reckless things to save time. As a hand surgeon, I have countless stories of patients with broken wrists and hand lacerations caused by one second of carelessness. Across the nation, there are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. …

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— by Smita Patel, DO Dear Readers, Last week I told you about the world-wide effort What Happens to Our Brain When We’re Short on Sleep to better understand the variety of risk factors implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  Research tells us that the modifiable risk factor most to blame for cases of Alzheimer’s disease around the world is a lack of formal education.  The more we learn and the longer we challenge ourselves scholastically the more resilient our brains become to …

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—   Dear Readers, We often hear that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is soaring and that it’s expected to get worse in the coming decades. Why?   Public health advancements and medical advancements now allow us to “successfully age”, or in other words, to live long enough lives to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and this is happening in very large cohorts, like the Baby Boomers. Most developed countries around the world are experiencing this pattern, and a world-wide effort has begun to …

— Illinois State Director, Bob Gallo, was a guest on the November 10th segment of WCIU’s “You and Me In the Morning” where he discussed Livable Communities and its impact on Chicago neighborhoods. AARP Chicago’s goal is to significantly raise awareness about Livable Communities and allows us to show how AARP is working to make a difference and listening to the needs of Chicagoans.  AARP is working with and in Chicago neighborhoods and is connected to our many and diverse neighborhoods.      

Terry Savage at Beverly Art Center for AARP

— On Monday, November 7th,  AARP Illinois hosted “The Savage Truth on Money with Terry Savage” were noted financial expert Terry Savage to provided insight and awareness into investing and asset management to a packed crowd  at the Beverly Art Center in the Beverly neighborhood. Terry Savage’s financial expertise comes from her vast experience as a stock broker, founding member and first woman trader on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.  She was a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where she …

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— by Smita Patel, DO Dear Readers, November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and in that spirit I will be posting a blog each week this month on topics surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. But first, I’d like to introduce myself.   My name is Dr. Smita Patel.  I am a neurologist specializing in sleep medicine and integrative medicine. I also have special interest in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This past weekend we set our clocks behind one hour which will alter our …