— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Florida for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— With electricity, cell phone service and even landline communications knocked out or damaged in much of the eastern Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael, one major emerging need is for information about who needs help. While most people age 50-plus treasure their independence and vigor, natural disasters can hit older people especially hard. AARP is working to connect those you care about to assistance. At present, it is difficult if not impossible for public officials and aid workers to get in …

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida Manager of State Operations Dionne Polite announced today that Ingrid Collins, an experienced association and business professional with deep roots in Central Florida, is joining AARP’s team of volunteers and staff as Associate State Director for Community Engagement in Central Florida. Collins, 53, has had more than 20 years of experience working with CEOs, executives, and other leaders to support constituents, customers, and members. Her experience includes working within for-profit and non-profit organizations including …

— Hurricane season starts in June, and AARP Florida is encouraging everyone to be prepared. Residents should consider whether their health would suffer without air conditioning or fresh water, and should have at least three days’ worth of supplies. An emergency kit should include drinking water, food, medications, first aid supplies, flashlights, extra batteries and important documents. Florida was hit hard by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The storm caused at least 85 deaths, including 14 in a Broward County nursing home …

— AARP Tallahassee is happy to participate in the Tallahassee-Leon County Bike Month activities. And we’re happy to sponsor the Slow Roll Booker Bike Ride on May 5. Check out the month’s activities. We hope to see you at one (or more) of them! Tallahassee-Leon County Bicycle Expo, Tuesday, May 1, 6 p.m. Please join Planning Staff and our community partners for a night of food and cycling! To officially kick off Bike Month, the bike expo will be located at …

— Judges’ Choice Winner of the 2017 Caregiver Accelerator uses life experiences to help others After years in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals, Bonnie Brown, once bewildered by insurance and healthcare protocols, became something of an expert. In fact, she decided to turn her personal experience into a tool to help save others from feeling overwhelmed and dispirited. Bonnie is the founder and CEO of A Better Life, which provides training and resources for health care consumers and caregivers. …

jeff johnson aarp florida state director

— By Jeff Johnson (This op-ed originally appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of the Sun Sentinel) Still struggling with Irma’s aftermath, Floridians were stunned by news Wednesday that eight frail elders died from heat-related causes after a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home lost its air conditioning.  A hospital with functioning air conditioning was across the street. A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, but initial reports seem to indicate that miscommunication …

5 States

— Hurricane Michael devastated much of Florida’s eastern Panhandle region on Oct. 10, inflicting billions of dollars in damages in a few hours.  For Floridians age 50-plus, for family caregivers and for North Florida communities, recovery will take years. To help equip you with the information you need to get back to where you were, AARP has collected this short guide to resources that could be particularly helpful for Floridians 50-plus. Have you lost power in the storm and now aren’t …

— According to recent data, a couple retiring this year looks to spend an average of $275,000 on healthcare throughout the course of their retirement. Health care costs are rising faster than inflation and the overall economy, with one in five families reporting difficulty paying medical bills. If you are over the age of 60 and are experiencing financial insecurity from these rising health care costs, SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program that may be able …

5 States

— A portable or “whole-house” electrical generator can be a big help after a hurricane. But AARP’s Florida state director urged Floridians to take care when using electrical power generators for backup power during power outages in the wake of Hurricane Michael. ‘’If your neighborhood ‘goes dark’ in the aftermath of a hurricane, having a generator can be a lifesaver. It can help keep food, liquids, and medications cool,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director. “But like any other power …

— By Susannah Nesmith Six months after Hurricane Matthew skirted the Florida coast last fall, Nancy Sikes-Kline was finally able to move out of her temporary apartment and into a house—but it wasn’t her house. “It’s taking much, much longer than any of us ever imagined” to put her life back together, said Sikes-Kline, 60, a land use consultant and St. Augustine city commissioner. “For older people, it’s particularly difficult because we don’t have time in our lives financially to recover. …