Since being launched earlier this summer, the new AARP Coffee and Conversation series has engaged hundreds of AARP members and 50+ Charlotteans on a variety of issues. As a new program coming from the new AARP office in Charlotte, it has been an exciting time for the staff and AARP volunteers who organize and facilitate those programs. With October's full offering of new sessions approaching (see below for the list of October's programs), the excitement is building even more, as October marks the beginning of the Affordable Care Act's "marketplaces" and the time when more people want simple answers to sometimes complex questions.
"People are hungry for simple, straight forward information, said Michael Olender, Associate State Director at AARP North Carolina, based in Charlotte. "In the last few years people have heard all sorts of rumors about what is in the law and how they will be affected. And for many of them, the time has come to put aside their personal feelings or politics and come to understand what the law means for them and their families."
Along with sessions focusing on the new health law, the Coffee and Conversation series also is currently featuring a discussion/listening session on how to make Charlotte a more livable community.
"Everyone wants to have the choice to remain in their home and community, Olender said. "However, with 10,000 people turning 65 everyday for the next 16-18 years, our cities are simply not prepared to handle the challenges that poses. So by beginning the dialogue with our members and listening to their needs now, we are able to help educate our elected officials and other decision makers so they can make the most informed, practical and sustainable choices for our city."
So far, the reception to these new programs has been very good. Participants often come to more sessions toting the AARP coffee mug they received at previous sessions.
"People are very happy we're here, Olender said. "This new series is different from any other outlet many people have. We have a lot of savvy, conversational people coming out who have a lot to share. I've been doing this kind of work for a while and it is refreshing to see so much energy and community spirit week after week. I look forward to each session".
And there are many more sessions coming up! See below for October's offerings. Feel free to register for as many programs as you'd like.
Affordable Care Act and Older Americans: How the ACA Affects Medicare and Older Adults
The Affordable Care Act is bringing a number of changes to services and programs for the 65+. Come hear about what's changing with Medicare, prescription drugs, long term care and other services important to older North Carolinians
October 2nd @ Mint Hill Library 2-4 RSVP
October 9th @ Cornelius Library 2-4 RSVP
Affordable Care Act: How the ACA Affects you and Your Family
With implementation of the Affordable Care Act underway, most people are pushing aside the politics and looking for answers to their questions about how this law will impact them. Join us for a comprehensive discussion how what's in the law, how it is being implemented in North Carolina and how you may be affected.
October 15th @ Sugar Creek Library 3-5 RSVP
October 22nd @ Scaleybark Library 5:30-7:30 RSVP
October 29th @ Plaza-Midwood Library 6-7:30 RSVP
“Get Around” Livable Communities listening session
How livable is your community? Does your home and your community have the features and access to services you need to age-in-place? Come join us for this important discussion on how AARP is helping create livable communities and share with us what steps you think need to be taken to make the Queen City a city for all ages.
October 4th @ Steele Creek Library 2:30-4:30 RSVP
October 8th @ Independence Library 2-4 RSVP
October 11th @Main Library 2-4 RSVP
October 23rd @ Plaza Midwood Library 3-5 RSVP
October 25th @ Myers Park Library 2-4 RSVP