— Westar Energy customers living in Wichita will have a chance to ask questions and find out more information about the company’s latest proposed rate increase request.  The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has scheduled a public hearing on Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m. in Wichita to receive input from Westar Energy customers on the company’s request. The public hearing will be held at Wichita State University’s Lowe Auditorium located at 5015 E. 29th St. N. in Wichita. Attendees will have the opportunity …

—   Every day in Kansas, more than 340,000 people care for a loved one, helping them to live independently at home and in the community. While family caregiving is a labor of love, it can also be emotionally, physically and financially challenging. Thankfully, a new law called The Kansas Lay Caregiver Act is now helping family caregivers across our state. The Kansas Lay Caregiver Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, is a law that helps family caregivers when …

— As the election season heats up, AARP staff and volunteers are keeping candidates informed about issues important to Kansans 50-plus. They are urging federal candidates to protect Medicare and Social Security. And they are asking candidates for state offices to strengthen long-term care services and to keep utilities affordable. Interested in helping with advocacy? Call 866-448-3619 toll-free or email ksaarp@aarp.org to get involved.

— Members of the Kansas Legislature are back in Topeka for the 2018 session and AARP volunteers and staff are also at the Statehouse meeting with legislators and advocating for AARP Kansas priorities and issues that are important to Kansans who are 50 and older. Here are some of the issues we’ll be talking to legislators about. If you support them also, please be sure to contact your legislators. KanCare (Medicaid Expansion) – More than 150,000 Kansans currently fall into a …

— When legislators return to the state Capitol in Topeka for the 2018 session, AARP Kansas staff and volunteers will be on hand to press for legislation that would help Kansans age 50-plus. In the session that begins Jan. 8, lawmakers are expected to consider bills that would provide additional support for family caregivers, improve home- and community-based services for long-term care, keep consumers’ financial information secure and rein in utility rates. AARP advocacy volunteers will ensure that lawmakers receive useful …

—   Gerald Schmitt intended for his retirement to be productive, so he started a business repairing old toys during his first career. Gerald and his wife, Dianna, started Our Playhouse with a storefront in Dodge City where he taught vocational agriculture at the local high school for 31 years. After retirement, they sold the building and moved to Wichita. Now, instead of a storefront, most of their business is on Ebay or at various toy shows. “I usually have around …

— When state lawmakers return to Topeka in January for the 2018 legislative session, AARP Kansas staff and volunteers will be on hand to advocate for issues important to Kansans 50 and older. The AARP state office’s legislative agenda will focus on long-term care, utilities and elder abuse. Financial abuse, for example, costs older Americans more than $2.9 billion per year. AARP Kansas is recruiting volunteers to get involved in these issues. Advocacy volunteers will contact state legislators and members of …

— A new state law backed by AARP Kansas will help ease the transition from hospital to home for patients and their caregivers, beginning next year. The Kansas Lay Caregiver Act, also called the CARE Act, will allow every hospital patient to designate a caregiver. Hospital staff will record the caregiver’s contact information and keep that person informed about discharge plans. In addition, the hospital will prepare the caregiver for follow-up medical tasks to be done at home. About 345,000 Kansans …

—   Kansas ranks 30th when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, and AARP warns more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to meet changing demographic demands. Specific areas of concern in Kansas include support for family caregivers and more effective transitions from nursing homes to home. This, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state Scorecard from AARP with support of the nation’s leading organizations behind quality long-term care, The Commonwealth Fund …

—   Great news for our state’s more than 345,000 caregivers and the people for whom they provide care. The Kansas Legislature has passed and Governor Brownback has signed the Kansas Lay Caregivers Act, otherwise known as the Caregiver, Advise, Record and Enable or CARE Act. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, will support caregivers when the person they are caring for is hospitalized and then returns home and is in need of care. AARP volunteers …