— 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 …

— When the weather turns cold, it’s time to turn up the heat inside your home. Unfortunately, for many Kansans, turning up the heat can strain their household budget. But there’s help from the Kansas Cold Weather Rule which goes into effect on November 1. According to the Kansas Corporation Commission website, the Cold Weather Rule was established in 1983 to protect human health and safety and to insure that Kansans have residential electric, natural gas and water services to their …

— 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 …

— With Governor Brownback’s veto of KanCare (the Kansas version of Medicaid) expansion, House Bill 2044, the Kansas House now has the opportunity to put hardworking Kansans first and overturn the governor’s veto. Maren Turner, director of AARP Kansas—with more than 320,000 members age 50 and older in the Sunflower State—issued the following statement, urging the House to take action now. “Hardworking Kansans are counting on their elected State Representatives to override Gov. Brownback’s veto and expand KanCare—bringing access to affordable …

— On February 23, the Kansas Senate voted 38-1 in favor of the Kansas Lay Caregivers Act (SB 68 as amended), otherwise known as the CARE Act.  The CARE Act would require Kansas hospitals to give each patient the opportunity to designate a caregiver when they enter the hospital so the caregiver’s name can be recorded, the caregiver is informed when the patient is transferred or about to be discharged, and the caregiver is given instruction on how to take care …