— If it’s February, it must be time for the Agricultural and Food Fair in St. Croix. AARP Virgin Islands will be at the Ag Fair Grounds, Feb. 18-20, enjoying the festivities and talking to people about what AARP does to advocate for Virgin Islanders 50-plus. The annual fair features livestock demonstrations, a petting zoo, entertainment and rides, as well as vendors selling books, jewelry, crafts, clothing, and such local favorites as Vienna cake, fried cauliflower, roast pork, johnnycakes and kalalloo …

— Retirees who worked with the Virgin Islands Government and have since relocated to the mainland United States will see an upgrade to their health insurance coverage as of January 1, 2017. In an effort to provide the best quality healthcare at the lowest possible cost, United Healtcare, the health insurance plan provider for VI retirees over the age of 65, has arranged for those living stateside to be placed into a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C. …

— The healing process doesn’t end when a patient leaves the hospital. For those treated at the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center on St. Croix, the transition back home just got a little easier. Under the hospital’s recently launched “Med-to-Bed” program, patients can have their prescription medications delivered to their rooms before they are discharged. This free service helps patients get necessary medications without having to travel to a pharmacy on their way home—a benefit especially useful to …

— Local officials want to improve Virgin Islanders’ health, but to work effectively, they need to know what the population’s health habits are. The V.I. Department of Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Prevention is conducting a telephone survey to ask residents about their personal health habits. The results will guide public health efforts to help those living with chronic diseases to stay as healthy as possible. The local survey is part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System developed by …

— TRICARE, the health care program that covers almost 9.4 million active and retired military personnel worldwide, reinstated the Juan F. Luis Hospital as an approved facility in January, ensuring that once again veterans can get care on St. Croix. The hospital lost TRICARE approval in 2014, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put it on a systems improvement plan to correct deficiencies. AARP and the Patient Family Council encouraged the hospital’s board of directors to focus on …

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey in the USVI

— If you visited the AARP Virgin Islands booth at the Agricultural Fair in February, you were given information about the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the survey that is being done in the territory.  The BRFSS is a project within the VI Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program which is tasked with compiling health studies on various topics. The studies are completed using data received from Virgin Islands residents. The studies are very important to the territory …

VI Passes the CARE Act

— En Español In a surprise move, Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp vetoed the Caregiving Bill (Bill Number 31-0237) late in March citing numerous concerns as justification for his veto. The AARP VI office received notification of the veto on Saturday, March 26 in the middle of the Easter Holiday weekend. In response to the veto, Denyce Singleton, the AARP VI State Director, forwarded a letter to the Senate President the following Monday. The letter addressed each of the Governor’s …

— Staying in shape is important at any age, but exercise can be difficult for people with physical limitations. AARP Virgin Islands has an answer: Zumba Gold, a fun, effective fitness class tailored to active older adults. Like regular Zumba, the dance-based classes provide an aerobic workout, but Zumba Gold is low-impact and can even be done in a chair. Exercise can lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. The diabetes rate among African Caribbean people in the U.S. …

— Tracy Sanders, RN, MN, CNS Continuum Care, Inc. The death of a loved one can be devastating. Some of the feelings that can arise from losing someone, and where you can go for help and support. Bereavement affects people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. You might feel a lot of emotions at once, or feel you’re having a good day, then you wake up and feel worse again. Powerful feelings can come unexpectedly. It’s like …

AARP VI Zumba Gold Fun with a Purpose

— What started out in the Virgin Islands as a handful of AARP members interested in getting some sexy exercise has grown to over a couple dozen men and women who anxiously anticipate their Zumba Gold classes. Zumba is a dance type exercise that provides great physical movement and at the same time is fun to do. So much so have the founders of this exercise program understood the need to cater to so many, that they have created a lower …