Julie Krawczyk, director of the Elder Financial Safety Center, works to prevent and prosecute scams. Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux

By Thomas Korosec Julie Krawczyk, director of the Elder Financial Safety Center, has seen a flood of cases like this: Four years ago, an 89-year-old Dallas woman, widowed with no family, moved to a care facility after she fell and broke her hip. She granted a friend from her church control of her finances and authority to act in her place. The so-called friend abused that trust by liquidating $145,000 in stocks, selling the woman’s home and spending the proceeds …

As National Volunteer Month winds down, we salute the life and service of centenarian and former Andrus Award winner Frank Kormos of Dallas. In addition to being AARP’s oldest Texas volunteer, he has concurrently been an active member at his church and a block captain for his homeowner association in addition to other volunteer work. “The Andrus Award is presented to those remarkable people whose efforts and achievements have effected significant positive change,” said AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said …

Lydia Oliphant decided to try out volunteering with AARP in Houston at the recommendation of her friend’s daughter. Now, more than two years later, she’s pitched in a multitude of ways, including with Fraud Watch Network talks, walkability audits and events for family caregivers. “AARP’s mission of enhancing the age 50+ lifestyle and informing them of things that pertain to their interests is particularly important,” she says. That’s why her work focuses on helping members of the community find the …

Roofing Contractor

It’s the season for severe storms in Texas, and AARP is alerting consumers about potential home repair ripoffs and other scams following natural disasters. It’s unfortunate, but the aftermath of a disaster attracts opportunists and scammers. Now is an important time for Texans to ready their homes, families and businesses for the worst that Mother Nature may throw their way–and to protect themselves from fraud. Too often, criminals pose as insurance inspectors, government officials or building contractors to prey on …

SunnyFitzwater

Volunteering is not out of the ordinary for Sunny Fitzwater; in fact, she grew up with it. From a young age, Sunny’s parents taught her the importance of volunteering, and she also instilled this value in her children. Each of them volunteer in their communities. At age 62, Sunny began volunteering with AARP occasionally. She was not too invested and was only involved from time to time. Then one day, she decided to research health insurance because she and her …

Manuel (right) with a fellow  AARP volunteer from the Rio Grande Valley

At age 78, Manuel Garza of Brownsville is a fighter—he supports and fights for issues near and dear to his heart. Nearly 20 years ago, soon after losing his wife to pancreatic cancer, Manuel received a call from AARP while in San Antonio visiting his kids. As a retiree and recent widower, he wanted to do help other people but didn’t know how—or what. The phone call was the answer he needed, and he jumped at the opportunity to be …

In a big city like Houston, where many residents depend on their vehicles, it can be difficult to find safe sidewalks. Volunteer Mari Okabayashi is working with AARP to make Houston a more walkable community for people of all ages. Older Houstonians benefit from safe crosswalks and walking paths, as do parents with small children. “For the past two years, AARP in Houston has been building connections in communities that will ensure that as Houston continues to grow, it will …

There are some things in life we put off because they make us uncomfortable. Going to the dentist, doing neglected home repair or saving adequately for tomorrow are but a few examples. When it comes to our own mortality, the challenge is magnified. According to a recent ABCNews poll, about 58 percent of American adults do not have a will or other estate plan. Even more people – nearly 75 percent of adults – do not have an advance medical …

©Istockphoto/DOUGBERRY

Often known as “the party with a purpose,” Fiesta San Antonio features more than 100 events, along with information and resources from a host of nonprofit organizations. The annual celebration is San Antonio’s largest festival, with roots that date back to 1891. As part of Fiesta’s 125th anniversary celebration, AARP will host an interactive exhibit at Maverick Park, 1000 Broadway, on Friday and Saturday, April 22-23. Festival-goers are invited to stop by for fun activities and to chat with AARP …

Spring means spring cleaning, and AARP is here to help. That’s why, for one week at the end of April, we will be hosting ShredFest 2016 across the country. Texas stops include Corpus Christi, Fort Worth and Houston, so join us to safely get rid of unwanted documents, outdated electronics and old medications. ShredFest 2016 is free and open to the public. There will be large shredding trucks on-site. Too often, identities are stolen, and fraudsters are victorious. Sensitive information–such …