—   The U.S. Health care system spends well over $300 billion a year on prescription drugs, and almost three-fourths of that goes to brand name drugs, even though they make up less than one in eight prescriptions. The escalating costs of pharmaceuticals are driving up health care costs and premiums in both the employer and individual market. While several proposals exist at the federal level to address this problem, little – if any – action has occurred.  This has led …

— 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 …

— Consumer Workgroup Lays out Public Policy Actions Necessary to Prevent/Deter Elder Abuse Report urges lawmakers and regulators to take swift action to turn recommendations into laws and meaningful change Saint Paul, MN – A workgroup consisting of five consumer-focused organizations today released a report containing recommendations to improve the care and safety of older and vulnerable Minnesotans in nursing homes and assisted living settings. The Consumer Workgroup recommendations call for far-reaching policy and agency practice changes to prevent and deter …

— 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 …

— Join our online event for free job searching tips, tools resources, interactive videos, recruiter chats and more. AARP’s Online Career Fair: Spotlight on Part-Time Work & Skills Thursday, January 25, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. CT You can find jobs that don’t require 40-plus hours a week in just about every industry and company. But why choose part-time work? You may miss the office camaraderie after stopping full-time work. Or you may want some extra income to travel or fund …

— Building on the success of its previous fraud prevention efforts, AARP Minnesota is recruiting volunteers to expand the AARP Fraud Watch Network into rural parts of the state. Volunteers receive training to learn how Minnesotans can protect themselves from the latest scams. They may observe or team up with more experienced speakers as they learn. They also participate in monthly calls to stay up to date. The workshops include recordings from FBI sting operations, so participants can hear con artists …

— By Pamela Schmid When a friend urged her to take part in a painting competition 17 years ago, Nancy Chakrin declined. She had just completed treatment for breast cancer and was busy caring for her aging parents. And she hadn’t picked up a paint brush in 23 years. Then Chakrin reconsidered. She spent three weeks painting a stormy sky over a lonely country road and discovered the regenerative power of art. “Being able to focus on art gets your mind …

— Social isolation and poverty is a big problem for seniors in our community.  Without a local network of family and friends, seniors who live alone often decline more rapidly, and face a grim holiday season with little money to spend and limited contact from others. Each year AARP partners with Twin Cities-based non-profit Gifts for Seniors to try add a little joy to the lives of these individuals by hosting a holiday gift drive. New, unwrapped gifts are being collected …

— There are more than 150 officially designated “Age-Friendly” communities nationwide.  One of them is Northfield, Minnesota.  Age-friendly or livable communities have walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities encourages states, cities, towns and counties to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older …

— By Mary Van Beusekom Suzanne Sudmeier, 64, and her husband, Richard, 72, plan to stay in their home on Lake Ida in Alexandria for as long as they can. A new program, part of concerted efforts by the community to become more age friendly, may help them do that. Ready Ride, coordinated by the Rainbow Rider bus system, consists of volunteers taking people to appointments or errands for a sliding fee. The program augments the bus system, which doesn’t operate …