— This afternoon, AARP Texas is joining the City of Houston, Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC), Texas Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy (Texas ROSE), One Voice Texas and the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies in filing a Petition for Emergency Rulemaking before the Texas Public Utility Commission to extend electricity customer protection rules for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson released the following statement. “AARP Texas joins the City of Houston and other organizations today in …

— By Enrique Rangel When retired Austin Municipal Judge John R. Vasquez hung up his robe two years ago, he didn’t see himself living a life of leisure. “I didn’t want to be in my house all the time,” Vasquez, 62, said recently. “I wanted to give back to my community.” Two months after leaving the courthouse and moving to San Antonio, where he was born and raised, he found his calling as an AARP volunteer. “I’ve gotten involved more and …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) has been presented a Texas Legislative Leadership Award from AARP Texas, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization for older Texans. Hancock, who chairs the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, sponsored major legislation during the regular session to help combat elder financial abuse and surprise medical bills. The bills, backed by AARP, have been signed into law by the governor. A bill Hancock …

— The transition from hospital to home just got easier for patients and family caregivers under a new state law. The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act took effect May 26, immediately after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed it into law. The legislation allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver. It requires the hospital to take reasonable steps to notify the caregiver about discharge plans and to show the caregiver how to perform follow-up medical tasks. At least 36 …

— By Callie Jones Providing low-income older adults with counseling and other assistance is a passion of mine. It’s also what I do as a social worker when I’m not also interning at AARP Texas. I’ve come to realize there’s a lifeline for many older people, and it’s Social Security. Social Security is what keeps food on the table for many of the clients I serve. The clients I’ve worked with struggle to make ends meet, and they count on Social …

— Melinda Dunn of Sugar Land is battling a cancer that has spread from her lungs into her spine. Right now, private insurance is covering her treatment, but she fears that changes in federal health laws could limit her coverage. “That worry is a horrible feeling when you’re trying to stay healthy but you’re sick, and you’re trying not to worry about money,” says Dunn. “It’s just right there in the front of your mind. You go, is this worth it?” …

— By Laura Tillman Marie-Pierre Stien of Houston is a creative person fond of trying new things. A school administrator, she writes flash fiction—stories of less than 500 words—and she’s working on illustrations she will give away to people. It’s not surprising that Stien, 54, isn’t intimidated by social media. She uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for her artistic endeavors and for advocacy and outreach. Stien is taking on a relatively new online medium—the podcast—produced by AARP in Houston. The online …

— Texas ranks 35th when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, and AARP warns more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to meet changing demographic demands. Specific areas of concern in Texas include the percent of high-risk nursing home residents with pressure sores, as well as the percent of nursing home residents who are inappropriately receiving an antipsychotic medication. This, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state Scorecard from AARP with support …

— AARP Texas is proud to announce that three new laws, already signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, will help protect financially vulnerable Texans. The news measures were strongly endorsed by AARP, which worked closely with lawmakers of both parties to ensure their passage. Preventing abuse as it happens Financial institutions and securities professionals have new ways to report and address suspected exploitation of clients age 65+. This change is thanks to HB 3921, by State Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower …

— ** High-Priority Nursing Home Quality Legislation Approved ** Older Texans have cause to celebrate several major accomplishments of the 2017 Texas regular legislative session. In the final hours of the session, lawmakers approved a top priority for AARP Texas – major nursing home quality reforms that seek to hold operators of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities more accountable when they have been found to have done harm to their residents. This session, Texas lawmakers also approved numerous AARP-backed …