— By Laura Mecoy Michael Achkar thought he had the perfect solution when he built a small house for his father in the backyard of his Capitola home. Then Achkar encountered one of the many challenges Californians face as the state seeks to expand housing: Connecting the separate unit to a water supply would cost more than $24,000 for fees and the installation of a new meter—requirements of his local water district, which has serious supply issues. Because of the high …

— This fall Northern California saw some of the deadliest, most destructive wildfires in the state’s history, including wind-driven, ferocious blazes in Sonoma, Napa, Humboldt and Mendocino counties. Dozens were killed, and hundreds injured, including older and disabled adults who couldn’t escape in time. To help prevent fatalities in the future, AARP is working with local authorities to determine the best ways to use AARP resources to assist with disaster preparedness and relief, especially for people 50 and older. AARP will …

— By Rita Beamish Patricia A. Gonzalez-Portillo loves her California life, her friends and her home in Long Beach. But at 51, working as a national director for a nonprofit and married to a video-industry entrepreneur, she knows that finances ultimately will force them to leave and retire in Texas. Gonzalez-Portillo would rather stay, but Alan, her 15-year-old son, is bound for college in a couple of years. With a mortgage, the boy’s tuition at a private high school and other …

— Español Participants’ ideas will be included in NHCOA’s annual “State of Hispanic Older Adults” The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), will bring together members of the older adult population, along with elected officials, social advocates, and service providers in an “Aging with Dignity” Town Hall at The California Endowment 1000 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,  on August 30th. This linguistically and culturally safe space will give those present the opportunity to discuss …

— By Ray Huard Sandy Douglas was the caregiver for her mother, who died in 2014 from Alzheimer’s disease, and is the caregiver for her husband, who suffered a heart attack and work-related injuries in 2011. “He has heart problems, a collapsed lung, high blood pressure, a back injury—I mean, he’s got everything,” said Douglas, 68, who lives in Coalinga in central California. Both her mother, who was 98 when she died, and her husband, 56, were in and out of …

Julie Lee

— By Julie E. Lee, Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety in the Education & Outreach group Life on the road looks quite a bit different today than it did when most of us older drivers got our driver’s licenses. Formal driver’s education – or “driver’s ed” courses – first became available in the U.S. in the 1930s, and just as the rules of the road, automobiles and roadway infrastructure are constantly changing, so too are the safety …

Julie Lee

— By Julie E. Lee, Vice President & National Director, AARP Driver Safety, Education and Outreach Despite our best intentions, most drivers will be involved in a fender-bender at some point in their lifetime. While fender-benders are more common during heavy traffic and low speeds, they can happen anytime, anywhere. From parking lots and driveways, to busy intersections and highways, it is important to know how to respond to this type of crash, if and when you’re involved in one. Keep …

Julie Lee

— By Julie E. Lee, Vice President & National Director, AARP Driver Safety, Education and Outreach With the average age of cars on the road approaching 11 years, routine maintenance is more important than ever. In addition to fuel and insurance, vehicle maintenance is one of the most expensive out-of-pocket costs for car owners, which is why some drivers opt for DIY—“do-it-yourself”—maintenance. You may not be an auto expert or repair professional, but some routine tasks, such as replacing worn windshield …

— Did you know AARP partners with community groups on events (and hosts our own) right in your community? This month, join us at a technology fair to learn more about getting connected. On Saturday, May 18th, get ready to learn more about technology at the Get Connected Technology Fair for 50+ at San Diego Oasis. You’ll enjoy brief tech talks and one-on-one expert sessions on topics such as Social Media, Using Online Services Safely, Video Chatting, Discovering New Apps and …

— On Wednesday, June 5th, answer the question: Does your car “fit” you? This Free CarFit Event for Older Drivers in Poway will help older drivers improve the “fit” of their vehicles for safety and comfort, as well as promote conversations among older adults and their families about safe driving and mobility. CarFit is based on a 12-point checklist and provides one-on-one interaction with a trained CarFit technician. Please note that the primary purpose of the program is to convey safety information; it is …