— If you are one of the 12,600 family caregivers in the Virgin Islands, you may be managing a loved one’s personal finances. Perhaps a Virgin Islands court has even appointed you as the person’s legal guardian. But what if you have to move away, or your loved one needs to go to a hospital on the U.S. mainland for medical care? Guardianship just became more portable, with enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. The law, …

— 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 …

— Virgin Islanders who care for an aging loved one at home just got a huge boost of support from the legislature. A new law, which took effect March 30, improves communication and coordination between hospitals and family caregivers. The Caregiver Advice, Record and Enabling (CARE) Act allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver and requires the hospital to notify the caregiver before the patient is transferred or discharged. It also requires the hospital to show the caregiver how …

Visitability in the VI

— Español Want to save some tax money and ensure you can stay in your home as you age?  You can save as much as 20% on your property taxes for up to 10 years if you plan ahead. On October 22, 2013 rules and regulations governing a program called The Visitable Housing Design Act & Incentive Program were promulgated by the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR). These regulations spell out the steps that homeowners need to take …

— 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 …

AARP Shred Fest VI 2016

— “The consumer has more power than they think,” stated Devin Carrington, the Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) at a recent Town Hall meeting on St. Thomas, “Too often we depend on the government to do everything, but we, as consumers need to work in solidarity and not allow businesses to provide us with products or services that are not up to standard.” The same holds true for taking action to protect ourselves from …

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 …

— 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 …