— 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 …

— 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 …

— 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 …

— AARP Illinois is offering a Life Reimagined workshop at the Rochester Public Library on Tuesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. The program helps people explore possibilities and pursue changes in their work, relationships and well-being. The workshops are usually offered in large cities, but this month residents of rural communities around Rochester can benefit from the program’s insightful activities and thoughtful conversations. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, go to aarp.cvent.com/liferrochester. To request a …

— With the 2017 legislative session under way, AARP Illinois is urging lawmakers to pass a fully functional budget that helps older residents continue to live independently in their own homes. Among other issues, the state office is fighting for affordable utility rates and supportive services for family caregivers. AARP Illinois invites members to amplify these efforts by joining its advocacy team. Volunteer training sessions will be scheduled in Chicago and Springfield. Interested? Call Teresa Jones at 217-747-8881 or email her …