— ICYMI: AARP in Your Community – Pittsburgh Park Ambassador Program This summer, AARP PA and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh are teaming up to help get older adults moving outdoors. Group walks in local parks are planned by the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, Venture Outdoors, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Area AARP volunteers will serve as Park Ambassadors for the program and lead regular outings for older adults in South Park and Frick Park. PrideFest Back in June, AARP …

— ICYMI: AARP in Your Community – York On May 24, York County members relived history at the city’s William C. Goodridge Freedom Center—an important stop on the nation’s underground railroad during the 19th century.  The historic property and museum served as the setting for a reception and educational program that attracted 115 AARP members. The highlight of the program was a presentation by a living history interpreter portraying the character of William C. Goodridge, a former slave who risked his …

— Eating fresh vegetables and fruits is part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be expensive. That’s why AARP Pennsylvania wants residents on fixed incomes to know they may be eligible for four $5 checks redeemable at qualified farmers markets and roadside stands, beginning June 1. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program offers the checks to Pennsylvanians 60 and older whose annual income does not exceed $22,311 for an individual or $30,044 for a couple. The checks are distributed first …

— By Hilary Appelman Every other Wednesday, Sandra Fair shows up at a community center in West Philadelphia to wash and chop vegetables to make soup. The recipes vary—minestrone, vegetarian chili, and kale and chickpea stew are favorites—but the camaraderie and mission are the same. The soup is distributed to hundreds of older residents, promoting both nutrition and a sense of community. Fair, 65, a former machine operator and concessions manager, said her participation in the Food & Company soup project, …

— State Senate Approval of Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners Praised by AARP Pennsylvania AARP Pennsylvania praised members of the state Senate for approving legislation that will improve access to health care services by granting full practice authority to the state’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Senate Bill 25, sponsored by State Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), passed by a 39-10 vote on April 26 and will allow qualified APRNs to practice independently in their field of specialty after completing a …

— Medicare Voucher Proposal Will Increase Health Care Costs for Older Pennsylvanians By Joanne Grossi and Bill Johnston-Walsh Major changes being considered by our elected officials in Washington could dramatically increase costs for Pennsylvania’s 2.3 million older adults currently counting on Medicare benefits for their health care needs. That’s because some on Capitol Hill are proposing to replace Medicare’s guaranteed benefits with a voucher program as a way to reduce health care costs.  The voucher program, sometimes known as premium support, …

— By Cristina Rouvalis When Alan Ward, 65, had a massive heart attack in May, he was rushed from his doctor’s office in rural Pennsylvania to UPMC Passavant Hospital outside Pittsburgh for emergency surgery. Blockages had closed 99 percent of an artery, but he has made a strong recovery, thanks in part to the follow-up care. Ward, a retired baker and photographer, checks in with his medical team every morning—without ever leaving his home in Valencia. Using a touch-screen tablet, he …

— New law will improve health care access for older adults and their family caregivers Governor Tom Wolf’s signature on legislation that will allow licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telehealth technologies was praised today by AARP Pennsylvania.  The enactment of HB 1619 makes Pennsylvania the 18th state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which encourages physicians to provide care both in-person or through telehealth technologies in multiple states.  The legislation was sponsored by …

— There are many uncomfortable issues that individuals try not to think about too much, until it impacts your family.  For many families in Pennsylvania, one of those issues is turning out to be drug addiction. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it is not the kind of drug addiction that has been immortalized as a part of the late 60’s counter-culture movement, or even the cocaine epidemic that impacted lives in the 80’s and 90’s.  This addiction crisis isn’t limited to younger people; …

— By Kathryn Canavan Florence Atkinson, 79, of Millvale, doesn’t fret about the cost of her prescriptions. She has diabetes, cancer and a leaky heart valve, but she also has a PACE card. The cost of widely used prescription drugs jumped 81 percent from 2006 to 2013, according to a recent AARP report. If your prescription costs are shooting up, Pennsylvania’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly may help. It picked up most of the tab for nearly 250,000 older Pennsylvanians …