— By Tim Poor Zoia Martin has been taking care of her mother since 2008. “It’s very hard at times,” said Martin, particularly because her 80-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s disease, is blind and doesn’t sleep through the night. “You get exhausted from lack of sleep and rest,” she said. Although the stress can be overwhelming, Martin, of Cape Girardeau, is comforted by the knowledge that she’s not alone and that help is available. She attends Caregiving Conferences sponsored by AARP Missouri …

— AARP members and their friends are invited to participate in hikes and bike rides in the St. Louis area from June through November. Trail Trekkers explores nature trails throughout the region. The hikes average three miles, and every participant gets a complimentary backpack. This month’s hike is Saturday, June 16, starting at 8 a.m., at Klondike Park. This month’s Boomers and Bikes ride is Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m.-noon, at Mississippi River Trail at Cliff Cave Park. The events are …

— By Tim Poor Dessa Paris has been cycling seriously for more than two decades, but it was just two years ago that she decided to share her passion with other older adults. The result was Boomers and Bikes, an AARP-sponsored program in which Paris leads cyclists age 50-plus on monthly scenic tours in the St. Louis area. The program, free for AARP members and guests, is great exercise for participants and also benefits Paris, 56. “It’s given me the opportunity …

— 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 …