— SPRING INTO FITNESS 2018! March 20-April 10 • Tuesdays, 9-10:30 am Please join Aging Matters in Cape Girardeau for a four-part health and wellness series at the St. Francis Medical Center focused on improving your health. Each program will include a fun activity followed by a presentation by a local expert. March 20 • Spring Into Action Activity: Gearing Up — Details, Pedometers, Charts and Books Presentation: Spring Into Action: Balance and Fall Prevention Steven Logel, Senior Physical Therapist with …

— 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 …

— By Tim Poor The General Assembly’s budget cuts this year directly affected thousands of older adults on low incomes, but Jinny Hopp is hoping the 2018 session will reverse the impact. Reductions in spending for home- and community-based care eliminated services to about 8,300 older and disabled Missourians. The expiration of a program to help pay for medications will affect more than 60,000. Hopp, an AARP volunteer in Carthage who leads a caregiver support group, said the cuts will make …

— AARP Missouri is meeting with legislators, hospital administrators and health care professionals this month to garner support for a measure that could help family caregivers when a loved one comes home from a hospital stay. The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act would allow every hospital patient in the state to designate a family caregiver. The hospital would make reasonable attempts to inform the caregiver before the patient is discharged and to show the caregiver how to perform medical tasks …

— For two years, AARP Missouri has fought for legislation that could help family caregivers when a relative is in a hospital or about to come home. The bill stalled in committee in 2016 and 2017. Under the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, hospitals would record family caregivers’ contact information, keep them informed when their loved one is about to be transferred or discharged, and instruct them about medical care needed at home. At least 38 states have enacted similar …

— By Tim Poor Don Smith had never heard of jicama. Dennis Gibbons didn’t care for kale. But both men had their culinary worlds expanded through “What’s Cookin’ with AARP,” a series of free cooking classes being offered in the Springfield and Kansas City areas. “Coming from a meat-and- potatoes background, it really has opened my eyes to so many different styles of cooking,” said Smith, 68, a retired teacher and AARP community advocate who lives in Battlefield. Jicama, a root …

— By Tim Poor As a registered nurse who worked at a hospital for 22 years, Sandy Williams knows the importance of information for those who are responsible for caring for relatives discharged from the hospital. Often, she said, that information is lacking. “If you have a personal caregiver like a family member or a neighbor, they don’t know what they’re supposed to do,” said Williams, 71, of Joplin. “Those people need to know.” AARP Missouri is supporting legislation in the …

— Once she started walking, Loretta Davis didn’t want to stop. Davis has been leading walking tours in St. Louis as an AARP volunteer for three years. She has started a program of longer hikes around the metropolitan area, called the Outdoor Adventure Group. “I had an idea about hiking trails and talked it over with my state director,” she said. “They even allowed me to name the group.” The last hike of the year is Satur­day, Nov. 19, at Lone …

— Caregivers Together, a local support group in Carthage, meets monthly to offer family caregivers in the area an opportunity to share stories with others facing the same challenges. Founded by AARP volunteer Jinny Hopp, the group also shares tips on how to balance your own life and work with the tasks required to meet an aging loved one’s needs. “It’s the small things that can matter the most,” said Hopp. “Talking with others who have solutions based on their own …

— Yum, yum, yum! Every month, AARP in Kansas City and Springfield offers free cooking classes for members and their guests at select local Hy-Vee store kitchens. With a theme each month, participants prepare meals – that they later enjoy – and take home the recipes so meals can be prepared later in the comfort of their homes. Limited to 25 – 30 people, the cooking classes are led by certified dietitians. “The purpose of the cooking sessions is to introduce …