— 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 North Carolina. We hope you’ll join us!

— By Michelle Crouch When patients come into the emergency room during the overnight shift at St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus, they can be examined by a doctor much faster than they used to be—but the doctor may be on a computer screen. It’s a trade-off most patients are happy to make, said Kimberly Vaughn, a nurse at St. Luke’s. “I was a little skeptical at first, but it has been wonderful,” she said. “Our patients are getting admitted faster, and …

— Holiday shopping online increases the risks of identity theft and other web-based scams. AARP North Carolina and the N.C. Senior Consumer Fraud Task Force are working to protect residents from cybercrime, including phishing, the practice of using tempting online deals to lure consumers into disclosing their sensitive personal and financial information. The Tar Heel State ranked 16th nationwide in per capita fraud reports last year, with 60,621 complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. People age 65 and older accounted for …

— Guilford County has recently joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, along with other counties such as Buncombe, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake. Age-Friendly Network members work toward becoming vibrant and welcoming for people of all ages through a continuous cycle of improvement in specific areas of design and sustainability. These areas promote health and quality of life for older adults and benefit all those in the community. An early step in the process of becoming an Age-Friendly Community is assessing …

— By Lisa H. Towle When Jodie Appel opened a spa called the Salt Cave in Asheville in 2012, she and her partners, who also happen to be her parents, concentrated on promoting the health benefits of spending time in a nature-inspired salt mine. Five years later, their focus expanded to offering a rarer benefit: a voluntary retirement savings program for their 15 employees. “If you take care of your people, they will be even more encouraged to stay with you …

— Government is broken. Politicians don’t seek common ground, arguing rather than creating results. But critical issues like Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug costs are all on the line. That’s why your voice matters. Let’s hold politicians accountable by voting this November. The election is coming and with big issues for lawmakers to address, we need our voices heard. (find your polling place) North Carolinians ages 50 plus are the state’s most influential voters. But there’s only one way politicians …

— North Carolinians ages 50 and above are the state’s most powerful voting bloc and it is important that we stay that way. Will you be the difference this November. Pledge to vote! As we wind our way closer to Election Day, older voters in the state want to know where the candidates stand on the issues most important to them. A big concern today is the high cost of prescription drugs. The next Congress has a chance at helping improve …

— AARP North Carolina is encouraging caregivers to share their stories to help build momentum for advocacy. Through legislation backed by AARP, the state recently joined the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which can help ease a shortage of health care providers. AARP also supported a power of attorney law that makes it easier for families to take care of loved ones across state lines. This summer, AARP North Carolina named six state legislators and the governor to the bipartisan AARP Capitol …

— RALEIGH — Lowering your monthly health care insurance premium sounds pretty good. But what if your new coverage doesn’t cover preexisting conditions, caps your coverage or charges you more because your older or work in an occupation that requires physical activity? What if the company or association you bought your policy from is no longer solvent and can’t pay your claim? Under a new plan being rushed through the North Carolina General Assembly, some ugly problems with the health insurance …

— By Sue Price Johnson Long-term care in the state—from in-home services to institutional care—ranks 38th in the nation, according to a recent survey. AARP North Carolina, the state Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations are working to upgrade that performance. They support legislation that helps improve the quality of care and are educating the public about issues such as tighter oversight of facilities and the high cost of care. Families seeking long-term care for a relative often …

— Before you vote, take the time to get to know where the candidates stand on issues that matter the most to AARP members and their families. This guide helps explain more about the top federal voting issues for older adults, as well as some guiding principals when it comes to the future of our health care and economic security. For more information on any of these voting issues, go to www.aarp.org/vote. MEDICARE Medicare Must Be Preserved and Strengthened Medicare provides …