— By Dr. Smita Patel Research suggests that maintaining cardiovascular health positively affects brain health, and a new study sheds more light on this relationship. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study was a large research study assessing more than 15,000 people in the United States that began in 1985 and continued through 2007. It was designed to collect data on heart health for the purpose of guiding future health initiatives and policies. Recently, researchers took a new look at the data, …

—   SPRINGFIELD– The facts are staggering. Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills remains over $8.5 billion. Late interest payments owed exceeds $1 billion. Unfunded public pension obligations have reached $130 billion.  Illinois’ credit rating is 50th in the nation and near junk bond status. Yet, Governor Rauner’s proposed budget does not include a long term fiscal plan that would launch the journey toward making Illinois’ fiscal situation stable.  The proposed 2019 fiscal plan does not do nearly enough to protect Illinois …

— It’s that time of year when exercise is top of everyone’s mind. New Year’s health resolutions continue to swirl, a new fitness trend catches on every day, and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are in full swing. The benefits of regular fitness are widely known, but less discussed are the dangers of excessive exercise Overtraining is a common concern for athletes at every level and every age. Being aware of the signs of overtraining can help you get the most …

—   CHICAGO— Beginning February 1 and continuing through April 17, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program, across the nation as well as right here in Illinois. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, celebrating its 50th year, is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 50 million taxpayers. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide started in 1968 with just four volunteers working at one site. Today, nearly 35,000 volunteers …

— Join our online Q&A sessions for tools for keeping your 2018 healthy resolutions all year What are your healthy goals for 2018? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want a new fitness plan? Do you want to focus on better sleep? No matter what your healthy goals are—or whether you’ve even set them yet—you can learn about how to get on track and stay on track. Join our live, two-part Q&A sessions: Staying Healthy in 2018: How to …

— As we all know, 2018 is a critical year for Illinoisans and all Americans. A lot is at stake in this year’s elections and we want to make sure Illinoisans, and especially those ages 50 and older, have essential information at their disposal in order to make the best decisions for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. Trust in government is very low. Illinoisans are frustrated at the partisan bickering and gridlock of the last few years. Millions were …

— The Best Movies for Grownups to be Honored at the Annual Awards in Los Angeles on Monday, February 5, hosted by Actor Alan Cumming. WASHINGTON, DC—AARP The Magazine is pleased to announce the nominees for the upcoming 17th Annual Movies for Grownups® Awards, with Get Out, Lady Bird, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri contending in the Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups category. The awards celebrate 2017’s standout films with unique …

— January can represent new beginnings and renewed purpose. With that in mind, consider my top five ways to maintain and improve your brain health throughout 2018. Adopt an aerobic exercise routine. Research shows that people in their 70s who briskly walk 40 minutes 3 times per week experience growth of the hippocampus, the brain’s “memory center.” This type of exercise causes an increase in specific brain “growth factors” that help brand new neurons to develop and thrive. Eat a more …

— Do you want to have a voice in making Alton a community where people of all ages: Feel safe in the community Participate in community activities Are treated with respect Have access to safe, appropriate and affordable housing and transportation Have access to recreational opportunities and health services Know what services and activities are available and have access to information by a means they prefer (e.g. online, in print, in-person) Are active, vital contributors to the economic, civic and social …

— Join two live webinars to find out how to identify and react to changes in your loved one’s behavior AARP Family Caregiving Online Learning Series Recognizing the Signs Your Loved One Needs More Care Tuesday, January 23, 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. CT Local Resources for Caregivers Tuesday, January 30, 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. CT What if your loved one loses interest in a favorite hobby? Or misses an in important date? Or forgets to pay the bills? What …