— By Jill Gambon During her 35 years working for the Social Security Administration, Louise Myers witnessed the impact the program has had on people’s lives. As a retiree, Myers wants to make sure Social Security remains intact. That’s one reason she’s a volunteer advocate with AARP Massachusetts. “I am a firm believer in keeping Social Security protected,” said Myers, of North Chelmsford. “I saw that my voice could be heard through AARP advocacy work.” Myers is one of about a …

— Building on the success of its previous fraud prevention efforts, AARP Minnesota is recruiting volunteers to expand the AARP Fraud Watch Network into rural parts of the state. Volunteers receive training to learn how Minnesotans can protect themselves from the latest scams. They may observe or team up with more experienced speakers as they learn. They also participate in monthly calls to stay up to date. The workshops include recordings from FBI sting operations, so participants can hear con artists …

— By Sue Lindsey Joyce Williams did not expect her experience as an educator to lead to helping feed older residents in need during winter, but that’s exactly what happened. A retired principal of William Byrd Middle School in Roanoke County, Williams, 71, began to volunteer with a program called Soup for Seniors a few years ago and was quickly put on the planning committee. The 11-year-old program, which has strong community support, last year served 525 Meals on Wheels clients …

— By Vanessa Ho Every weekend, Mark Diimmel goes out for dinner and a movie with his sister, who often takes him to get Chinese or Italian food, or maybe burgers and a milkshake. Diimmel, 64, has schizophrenia and lives in an adult family home in Bremerton, paid for by Medicaid and Social Security. But the outings have become more difficult. Everything costs more, while his personal-needs allowance—the amount of income Diimmel is allowed to keep for himself—has remained the same, …

— By Michelle Crouch Julia McLean, 70, knew it was time to get a second pneumonia vaccination. Her doctor had reminded her, but the holidays were coming, so she decided to put it off. That turned out to be a mistake. In early 2017, McLean came down with pneumonia. “It was horrible,” said McLean, who lives in Charlotte. “I was really, really sick for three weeks. I felt terrible, I had no energy, and it seemed like it took forever to …

— It’s been 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, changing the course of civil rights in America. AARP South Carolina invites members to celebrate the MLK holiday weekend, Jan. 12-15, in Myrtle Beach. AARP is a key sponsor of the celebration, which includes a 5K Freedom Run, film festival, ecumenical service, talent show and parade. Saturday morning will feature a job fair and workshops on contract possibilities for small businesses and the …

— Wisdom may come with age, but that doesn’t mean older people don’t fall victim to scams. AARP Arkansas offers Fraud Watch Network presentations to help people learn how to spot and avoid the latest schemes. Topics include identity theft, cybersecurity, medical scams and investment fraud. Arkansans reported 17,818 complaints of fraud and identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in 2016, with debt collection ruses leading the list. Scammers often target older people because they are likely to have a …

— The state is facing budget cuts, and AARP is fighting to keep the burden from falling on Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens. In September, Gov. Matt Blevin (R) asked most state agencies to cut their budgets by 17.4 percent to avert a $200 million shortfall. Although Medicaid payments would be exempt, most services administered by the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living would not. Kentucky ranks 50th among the states in the percentage of Medicaid long-term care dollars allocated to …

— Fishers, a suburb of Indianapolis, has been officially designated the state’s first age-friendly community. A city of about 90,000 people, Fishers is one of 191 localities nationwide that have joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. City officials have committed to address older residents’ needs in areas such as housing, transportation, health care and social inclusion. AARP will continue to work with city officials and residents to develop a master plan for improvements. To learn what makes a city or …

— The Iowa General Assembly convenes Jan. 8, and AARP Iowa is continuing to press for legislation that can ease the transition from hospital to home for patients and family caregivers. An estimated 317,000 Iowans serve as unpaid family caregivers, helping their parents, spouses or other loved ones with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, meals and transportation. They also help with medical tasks such as managing medications and dressing wounds. Even so, a 2015 survey found that 50 percent of …