JT Marek

Water crashing over bridge during Hurricane
As Hurricane Harvey ravaged Southeast Texas last August, one Texas assisted living facility (ALF) became infamous when a photo of elderly residents sitting in waist-deep water went viral.
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Often overlooked when considering the long-term health of older adults, social isolation deserves to be addressed. Today, AARP estimates that 17% of adults age 50 and older suffer from isolation. Isolation is not always talked about but it is an important public health issue that affects millions of Americans. 
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Communities across Texas are working each and every day to become more livable for residents of all ages.
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Seeking to reinvent herself after retiring, Chandra Marshall-Henson visited AARP conventions and events for inspiration. After attending a Zumba class taught by an instructor in her 80s, she found that inspiration. She gained the confidence to share her love for dancing.
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Though she had a long and successful career, Eva Bonilla was 66 years old when she discovered that she was born to be a tour guide. After retiring, Bonilla volunteered with the Fort Worth City International Board. She served as an ambassador to many international visitors that came to Fort Worth, and fell in love with giving tours. It was not until Bonilla visited an AARP workshop that she felt empowered to pursue her dream of being a tour guide.
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June is National Great Outdoors Month, a time for observing nature and enjoying our surrounding environments. Beginning as a week-long celebration of nature, we now nationally recognize the beautiful countryside, forests and parks of the United States for the entire month of June. This recognition promotes the splendor of our great outdoors and highlights the labors of those who work to preserve nature in our modern world. It raises the awareness of national policies on nature conservation by highlighting the beauty and health benefits of the natural environment.
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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) celebrates the accomplishments and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This national recognition helps to garner awareness for a minority often underrepresented in American culture.
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In honor of National Volunteer Month, we at AARP Texas would like to honor those who have made a difference in their communities this year. Though we cannot spotlight all the volunteers who give generously of their time to AARP because they are so numerous, here are two examples of volunteers that have bettered Texas through their work.
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