— It’s that time of year, folks! It’s time to celebrate and recognize our outstanding volunteers during National Volunteer Week. In Texas, we’d like to highlight several outstanding folks who have gone above and beyond for their communities. Without the help of our committed volunteers, our Texas communities would not be the same. From CAREversation family caregiver support groups to Fraud Watch Network shredding events, from volunteering with AARP Tax-Aide to help neighbors file their returns to urging elected officials to …

— Alicia Buescher, 64, of Fort Worth has been a nurse practitioner for over 30 years. She’s had a passion for nursing since the age of 16 when she volunteered at a local children’s hospital. “Not everybody knows what they want to do, but I did,” she said. Alicia’s mother-in-law lives in Columbus, a small town between Houston and Austin. On the way to visit her recently, Alicia couldn’t help but notice the lack of medical resources. “The people in these …

— The Texas Senate took a pivotal step toward improving the quality of care in Texas nursing facilities on Wednesday by unanimously approving Senate Bill 932, which seeks to hold nursing home operators accountable for harming residents. Senate Bill 932 — sponsored by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) — was approved on a 31-0 vote and now heads to the Texas House of Representatives. The bill revises the state’s “Right to Correct” law to make it more difficult for serious violations of …

— After a couple of weeks back in their districts for spring recess, members of Congress return to Capitol Hill on Monday, and you will soon start hearing again about shenanigans involving a very dangerous health care bill that many Americans had left for dead. Just before leaving, leaders in Washington held closed-door meetings in an attempt to resurrect the legislation, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Problem is, if they get their way, it would make a bad bill …

— Retirement should be a time of peace and relaxation, not one of struggle and financial worry. And when retirees seek advice regarding retirement investments, they should expect their professional advisors to give prudent guidance that keeps their best interests in mind. But low- and middle-income Texans currently lack adequate protections with their retirement savings. The previous administration updated and strengthened a Department of Labor fiduciary rule to require financial advisors to act in clients’ best interest rather than their own. …

— To promote age-friendly, livable communities, AARP Texas is hosting gardening classes across the state. AARP wants to create communities that promote healthy lifestyles and allow people to age in place. Such communities offer access to outdoor spaces; safe, accessible recreational facilities; and social participation for people of all ages. Daily activities such as gardening can lead to better health, especially for people who don’t enjoy athletic activities or going to the gym. On April 13, AARP members and their guests …

— Carolyn Hartman’s mother, Myrtle Hartman, died last spring after spending eight years in a Central Texas nursing facility. Two weeks before Myrtle’s death, Carolyn learned that her mother, at the age of 93, was being given – without necessary consent — an-anti-anxiety medication with serious side effects. But that’s not all. There were other serious health concerns facing her mother that shocked the Hartman family. “A phone call came one morning that she had severe pain in her right hip,” …

— Always good to see Dr. S. P. Kinjawadekar, the 85-year-old president emeritus and founder of India’s only national senior citizens organization, the All-India Senior Citizens Confederation. Dr. Kinjawadekar, who said he was inspired by AARP to start this organization 16 years ago, was a physician for more than 30 years in his native country before turning his attention to older Indian issues and starting the nonprofit organization. He has a daughter living in Austin and was making his 3rd visit …

— There’s one month until Tax Day! Tax season is notorious for being a headache for many during the springtime. From meeting strict deadlines, to knowing which services are reliable, taxes can create some unwanted stress. That’s why Tax-Aide started nearly five decades ago. In 1970, AARP’s Tax-Aide Program was imagined during a Naval Reserve exercise and now serves nearly 2.7 million taxpayers annually. Admiral Bernie Nash was informed by a Naval Reserve officer, who was also an IRS official, that …

— On behalf of AARP Texas, State President Charlene James issued the following statement to extend condolences to the family and friends of Congressman Eligio “Kika” de la Garza, who died Monday: “I am very saddened to learn of Kika de la Garza’s passing. Texas has lost an exceptional leader and great statesman, and the world has lost a champion for progress. “A proud son of the Rio Grande Valley, Congressman de la Garza served the people of our state well …