— 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 Maryland for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— By Kim Keister Brian T. Smith served the American people for more than 30 years. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and retired as a Navy captain, saw combat and received a number of military awards. Smith, who turns 57 this month, has pivoted to serve in a different way. He advocated for military retirees and disabled veterans during this year’s Maryland General Assembly session. “There was a connection to give back to the community and state by going to …

— By Michelle R. Davis Pat Dixon, 63, drives her grandchildren around regularly. She has carpal tunnel syndrome in one wrist that can flare up when she’s behind the wheel, and she tries to avoid congested traffic. Dixon also wants to feel more confident about her driving. So in February, she attended a four-hour AARP Smart Driver course to learn how to remain secure on the road. After the class, Dixon, who splits her time between her Florida home and her …

— 4/30 UPDATE:  The 2018 Spring Food Drive is complete! Thank you to all of the volunteers and those who stopped at their respective locations to donate food to less-fortunate Marylanders. View some photos from the event on Twitter. We will have an update coming soon with the total poundage of food collected, so stay tuned!     Wondering where the closest participating location is near you? See below for an up-to-date list of locations: HARVEST 2018 LOCATIONS Anne Arundel County …

— The following guest blog was written by Ted Meyerson, an AARP Maryland volunteer. What would you do if you had an accident or suddenly became so ill that you could not talk? If you had done some advance care planning, you and attending health care professionals, would know what medical treatments you would want, or not want.  Advance care planning gives you a voice, even when you cannot speak. It has the potential of avoiding family fights and lessening the …

— If you’ve been keeping up with our major projects this year, you know that we have two large-scale, volunteer-driven events on the horizon in 2018: our annual spring food drive at the end of April, and our first intergenerational playground project breaking ground in Baltimore on May 10! Want to help out? Get an update on the AARP Maryland Spring Food Drive, April 27 and 28. Sign up to volunteer in your community! Read up on the latest about AARP …

— Earlier this year, we surveyed our AARP Advocates with a brief, two-question survey asking for their opinion as we continue through an important election year in 2018. We received more than 3,400 responses, and want to share the results with you! Our Advocates were asked the following: “What statewide legislative issues are important to you as we approach elections in 2018? See below for what issues they included in their top three:         We look forward to …

— By Michelle R. Davis During his career as a journalist, Jim Gutman had to keep his opinions to himself. As the vice president and managing editor at a health care news publishing company, he needed to remain objective, staying outside the fray of politics. But when he retired in 2016, he could move from observer to participant. Gutman said he had long admired AARP, after watching the group’s lobbying efforts concerning Medicare Part D. “Once I retired, I wanted to …

— Are you a family caregiver? Would you like an opportunity to relax and unwind? Join AARP for a free afternoon of Mend Restorative yoga at Baltimore’s M. Power Yoga! The session will begin with an open and informal talk about our role as caregivers and where you can find support and resources, followed by a soothing session of yoga. Light refreshments will be served. New to Yoga? No worries! This class focuses on gently stretching and healing while holding poses …

— The Where We Live: Communities for All Ages series highlights inspiring ideas and solutions from America’s community leaders to improve their communities, respond to pressing issues, and build partnerships. These free AARP books are available in print and e-book formats. This year Maryland had three amazing towns featured as communities for all ages! Check out the stories behind the City of Bowie, Montgomery College and the City of Takoma Park by watching the videos below. City of Bowie: Perks For Planting a Tree, …

— By Michelle R. Davis Gay rights advocate Carlton Smith has lived for decades in Baltimore, where he created a close community of friends and fellow organizers. A longtime HIV survivor who was once estranged from his parents, Smith designated a local friend as his caregiver if health issues arise. Smith’s parents live in a state he considers “not LGBT-friendly,” and he wouldn’t want to move there. His potential caregiver knows his wishes regarding his health and life. “I have a …