— RALEIGH – To recognize their integral work to support family caregivers in North Carolina last year, AARP named Governor Roy Cooper, State Senators Warren Daniel and Paul Newton and State Representatives John Szoka, Gale Adcock, Beverly G. Boswell, Donna McDowell White as “Capitol Caregivers.” The North Carolina lawmakers join a group of over 100 Capitol Caregivers from 30 states. These leaders have advanced policies in 2017 to support family caregivers, who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live …

— 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 …

— 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 …