— AARP Wisconsin conveyed a message to legislators at budget hearings this spring: The state could save money and help more older people live at home by investing moderate amounts in services for the aging and support for family caregivers. The idea is to reduce reliance on more expensive programs, such as Medicaid-funded nursing home care. AARP Wisconsin calls the potential savings the Silver Dividend. Far from being a liability, the state’s older population can benefit society—if lawmakers use the tax …

— When the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee holds hearings this spring to discuss the biennial budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker (R), AARP volunteers will be there to support key issues. One legislative priority for AARP Wisconsin is to expand the state’s Family Care program, which provides long-term care services for people in their own homes. The state office also is pressing for more supports for family caregivers, including those whose loved ones have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. …

— By David Lewellen Carol Greene knows what AARP’s legislative agenda means to her and her family. The Edgerton resident closely monitors her 103-year-old mother, Theresa Martell, driving 30 miles each way once a week to check on bills and medication—for which Wisconsin’s SeniorCare program is a lifeline. “My mother really, really likes SeniorCare,” said Greene, 71. The program, unique to Wisconsin, offers low-income older residents a better deal on prescription drugs than Medicare Part D. Greene has attended many state …

— By Joanne Cleaver Thirteen years ago, Sherrie Palm suddenly found herself in charge of complicated home care for her mother, then 69, after abdominal surgery. “It’s a shock factor,” said Palm, 62, who lives in Mukwonago. “She’s finally getting out of intensive care, and they give you a one-page printout telling you, ‘Do this, don’t do that, and here’s the medication list,’ ” she said of the disorienting hospital discharge process. “We felt lost.” Palm and her father, then 74, scrambled …

— By Joanne Cleaver Every morning, when Mary Eslick arrives at her job as a payroll manager for Primex Inc., in Lake Geneva, she dreads getting “the call.” The call will come from her mother. It will involve a crisis with her father, 85, whose Alzheimer’s disease is progressing rapidly. All he wants to do is putter in his beloved garage machine shop. He sometimes forgets to eat or address his personal care and doesn’t want to cooperate when it comes …

— Are you age 50 or older and still have a great passion for athletics and competition? Why not test your skills against your peers in one or more of many events offered by the Wisconsin Senior Olympics. Registration is now open for the next round of Games, which will be held Aug. 13-Sept. 11, 2016. When you register, AARP members and their guests can use the coupon code GetFit to receive $5 off the registration fee. Search the Wisconsin Senior …

— Wisconsin’s Legislature is taking on Alzheimer’s and dementia. The State Assembly is scheduled to look at a package of measures that will benefit people with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families. After six public hearings throughout Wisconsin, the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia created the Wisconsin Cares package, made up of ten bills that will allow the state to better support those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their caregivers. One of the bills allocates an additional $1 million to …

— AARP is offering a free Caregiving Resource Guide for Wisconsinites helping a parent, spouse or other adult continue to live as independently as possible. The guide can help caregivers find assisted living facilities, hospice services or adult day-care centers. It can help people calculate long-term care costs for themselves or a family member. It links caregivers to programs that can help pay for food, utilities, prescription drugs or health care. And it can help caregivers network with peers who live …

— Huge victory for Wisconsin and AARP members, as the state has received federal approval to reapprove and extend SeniorCare through Dec. 31, 2018. SeniorCare helps about 60,000 Wisconsinites each month by reducing prescription drug costs for low-income state residents over age 65. The decision – made by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – means SeniorCare will continue to operate as it does today for another two years. If you or someone you know is on SeniorCare, you …

— At a recent press conference in Lake Geneva, Governor Walker thanked AARP Wisconsin for our great teamwork with the state Department of Health Services (DHS) in promoting the latest initiative in the Dementia-Capable Wisconsin program – The Dementia-Friendly Employers Toolkit – which provides employers with the tools they need to support workers who are caring for a loved one with dementia. The toolkit includes steps employers can take that will lead to lower turnover, higher productivity, and a happier, healthier workforce. …