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— With people staying healthy and active longer, communities have to adapt. There’ll be need for more safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, and opportunities for civic engagement. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities gives cities guidance on how to reach their goals in becoming great places for people of all ages. Fort Worth is among Texas cities rising to the challenge. An “Age-Friendly Fort Worth Action Plan” is taking shape, and the proposal is set to go to …

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— Carmen Tafolla doesn’t consider herself a hero. But during National Hispanic Heritage Month, she will be one of eight San Antonio role models featured in a video series on the AARP Texas Facebook page. She has published more than 20 books, teaches at the University of Texas at San Antonio and served with pride as the poet laureate for Texas this year. Tafolla, 64, has successfully battled cancer, coped with her husband’s advanced Parkinson’s disease and is raising her 11-year-old …

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— AARP invites Texans to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month in San Antonio Sept. 15 with a guided bus tour of the historic San Antonio Missions, where Native Americans lived and worked in the 1700s. The tour is one of several free events during the month-long celebration. The AARP state office also will host Celebrando con AARP on Sunday, Oct. 9, from noon to 6 p.m. at San Antonio’s Traders Village, featuring live music and information about community resources. Nearly …

pic2 US Rep Lloyd Doggett

— Today, AARP announced U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett as a recipient of the 2016 “Champion of the 50+” legislative leadership award for his significant achievements during the 114th Congress that benefit the lives of the 50+ and our families. Representative Doggett received his award for preserving seniors’ access to healthcare with his sponsorship and support in the passage of the Notice of Observation, Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act. The law requires hospitals to provide meaningful written and oral …

AARP Texas Communications Intern Claudia Aguilar

— By Claudia Aguilar After eight months assisting the AARP Texas communications team and bonding with the staff, my time here at AARP has come to a close. As my internship wraps up, I can’t help but reflect on all that I have learned. I always knew I wanted to do something with purpose. At a young age, I told my parents that I wanted to join the Peace Corps and give back. This all started due to a hippie high …

Melodía Gutiérrez is an associate state director of outreach & advocacy for AARP Texas

— AARP Texas is proud to announce and welcome Melodía Gutiérrez to the Association’s Dallas-Fort Worth team. Gutiérrez, an AARP associate state director of outreach and advocacy, is leading AARP’s work in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. Gutiérrez joined the staff of AARP Texas in late May from the American Association of University Women, an advocacy group that promotes equity and education for women and girls. A recognized team player and consensus builder, Gutiérrez will work closely with AARP volunteers in …

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— By Mark Hollis Fifty-one years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Older American Act (OAA) into law to help seniors age with dignity and independence in their homes and communities. AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus was instrumental in helping make the law a reality. Today, it remains a pillar of America’s support system for older people. The OAA benefits millions of Texans and other at-risk older Americans through programs like Meals-on-Wheels, health and transportation services, family caregiver assistance, elder abuse …

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— By Claudia Aguilar Things are heating up in Texas. By the looks of it, this is just the beginning of a long, hot summer. Heat indexes and temperatures have already hit triple digits in many places across the state. For Texas natives and Texas transplants alike, it’s a great time to review ways to stay safe in our extreme environment. Be careful when heading outside for afternoon activities. Adults age 65 and older are particularly susceptible to heat stress, often …

Teacher Link Ermis, a retired Marine in Huntsville, worries about reduced benefits. Photo by Eric Kayne.

— By Tracy Sutton Schorn Cynthia Stubblefield, 60, of Mansfield, worked at J.C. Penney for 27 years, paying into Social Security. A recent statement from the agency said she stood to receive about $1,200 a month if she retired in two years. But when she called Social Security and said she had been a teacher’s aide in Arlington for the last 13 years, they recalculated her benefit to be hundreds of dollars less a month. “I was so upset and crying,” …

— Some 12 to 13 million Texans should pay particular attention now that all major presidential candidates have come forward with their plans to keep Social Security strong and solvent for current and future generations. That’s approximately the number of Texans who are now paying Social Security taxes — both salary and wage earners as well as the self-employed. The July issue of AARP Bulletin will feature the candidates’ responses. But laying out a plan and making sure it works as …