— 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 Michelle Crouch Julia McLean, 70, knew it was time to get a second pneumonia vaccination. Her doctor had reminded her, but the holidays were coming, so she decided to put it off. That turned out to be a mistake. In early 2017, McLean came down with pneumonia. “It was horrible,” said McLean, who lives in Charlotte. “I was really, really sick for three weeks. I felt terrible, I had no energy, and it seemed like it took forever to …

— State legislators will be back in session in May, and AARP North Carolina is gearing up to advocate for the state’s 1.3 million unpaid family caregivers, who save the state money on long-term care costs. Topping the legislative agenda is the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, which would allow every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver—and would require hospitals to make reasonable efforts to show caregivers how to perform medical tasks their loved ones will need at home. …

— Loneliness isn’t just joyless. It can shorten your life, increasing the risk of premature death by 30 percent. That’s why AARP North Carolina has teamed up with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to sponsor the Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge. The challenge aims to reduce social isolation while helping participants achieve their personal health goals. For details about the challenge and a calendar of events, go to DisruptAgingChallenge.org. To read about other efforts to make Buncombe County increasingly age-friendly, …

— RALEIGH — To help make North Carolina communities more livable for people of all ages, AARP NC awarded three “Community Challenge” grants to organizations working to expand opportunities and engagement for all residents. A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence; allow residents to age in place; and foster residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, …

— Making it easier for licensed nurses to practice in NC Legislation to allow nurses to practice in any state that is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact passed the North Carolina General Assembly last week. AARP helped push for the legislation that maintains patient safety and quality of care while making it easier for nurses to practice in our state. It allows licensed nurses from other states to practice in North Carolina without having to get re-licensed. The passage of …

— CHARLOTTE — AARP in Charlotte is presenting a series of free workshops this month to help people prepare the challenges of caregiving and long-term care as well as an overview of Medicare, from how to choose a plan and the benefits Medicare offers, to what changes to the program may come in the future. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Prepare to Care This workshop includes information on how to have vital conversations …

— Medicare isn’t there for you only when you’re sick. The health care program offers a slew of preventive services as well, including immunizations for older patients, who are especially vulnerable to influenza. The AARP Protect Medicare van is crisscrossing North Carolina this summer, reminding residents of the benefits Medicare offers and the battle to defend it. Preventive services under Medicare include screenings for colorectal cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. The program covers flu shots because influenza can …

— By Jim Buchanan Here in North Carolina, through painful experience, we know a thing or two about floods. With a flood, most of the focus – necessarily – is on not being swept away in the turbulent waters. But there’s more than the rushing waters. There’s what’s beneath – who knows what kind of contaminants picked up in the deluge, who knows what kinds of creepy-crawlies lurking beneath. That’s the way it is with Washington these days. The normal trickle …

— AARP is fighting to improve North Carolinians access to affordable health care, in their communities, by cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that prevents nurse practitioners—and all advanced practice registered nurses—from doing their jobs. Right now, 28 states including North Carolina still have archaic rules that restrict nurse practitioners from using all their skills and training to provide primary and preventive care, including: routine health care such as diagnosing and treating patients management of chronic conditions ordering lab tests prescribing …