Florida State Capitol. Photo by Adobe Stock
5 States

— TALLAHASSEE – As Florida lawmakers prepared to gather in the state capitol for the 2018 legislative session, AARP Florida urged lawmakers to embrace innovative solutions to the problem of providing emergency backup power for elder-care facilities in the aftermath of a major disaster. AARP Florida Advocacy Manager Jack McRay sent a letter to all 160 state lawmakers urging them to require that all Florida nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have emergency backup power generators and fuel sufficient to provide emergency …

5 States

— With nearly 40 million Americans providing care for a loved one, it surprises many people to learn that the United States has no overarching strategy for caregiving.  But soon that may change. In December 2017, a bipartisan team led by Florida’s U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, and Mississippi’s U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper helped push the RAISE Act through the U.S. House.  Senate action on the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act is currently pending. “We want to …

— 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. …

— TALLAHASSEE — In recognition of their work during the 2017 Florida Legislative Session in protecting Florida’s most vulnerable residents, state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R – Naples) and state Rep. Ben Diamond (D – St. Petersburg) were presented with the AARP Florida Legislative Achievement Award The legislators authored Senate Bill 172 and House Bill 399, which ensures that additional safeguards are implemented to protect vulnerable adults in Florida’s guardianship process. Gov. Rick Scott signed the legislation into law on May 9, …

5 States

— AARP Florida Director Jeff Johnson warned hundreds of thousands of older Floridians Wednesday that they could lose thousands of dollars in income-tax deductions next year if Congress moves ahead with a U.S. House plan to impose a “health tax.” A House tax plan adopted last month would eliminate a current feature of tax law that allows Americans to deduct some of the cost of high medical expenses from their taxable income. As of 2017, taxpayers can deduct qualified medical expenses …

— By Tom Scherberger Three months after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the state and led to the deaths of 14 South Florida nursing home residents, AARP is gearing up for a legislative session it hopes will address the problems older people face during a disaster. “It’s tragic that it took the loss of a more than a dozen lives to discover where our system was failing older Floridians, and it would be a travesty if we, as a state, do …

Utility Rates
5 States

— Fellow Floridians – This year was a busy one for us when it came to utilities advocacy. We had some hard-fought battles – some we won, some we lost. Here’s a recap of our 2017 utilities activities: We successfully lobbied against SB 1238/HB 1043, which would have allowed investor-owned utilities (Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, TECO & Gulf Power) to charge ratepayers millions in advance fees to frack for natural gas out of state. For Florida consumers who get …

5 States

— Whew! The worst of the 2017 hurricane season is past us. That’s the good news. But the 2018 season is coming up. The off-season period – from the end of November to June 1 – is the best time to prepare your home for a hurricane. You have time to get ready, and supplies and equipment are less costly than when the demand is higher. So what exactly should you do?: Create your team. Identify those close to you (neighbor, …

— West Palm Beach, Fla. – Presented by AARP Florida, Your Aging & Disability Resource Center will be celebrating its 29th anniversary and its future at the Circle of Care Celebration Luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on November 9, 2017. Featured guest presenters include newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Aging Lance Robertson; Dr. Jamie Huysman, Vice President of Provider Relations and Government Affairs at WellMed Medical Management, well-known for his work fiercely advocating on behalf of family …

5 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson will share AARP Florida’s battle to protect frail older people in the state’s next disaster during a Facebook Live Event at 6:30 pm Nov. 8. As Florida lawmakers gear up for the Jan. 8 start of the 2018 legislative session, a top issue is elder safety in disaster. AARP is fighting to toughen provisions in state law protecting older people during natural disasters, including requiring nursing homes and assisted-living facilities …