— 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 Dakota for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— North Dakota has become the latest state to add safeguards to its long-term care resident rights law to address privacy, consent and electronic monitoring in long-term care facilities. These rights extend to residents of nursing homes, basic care and assisted living facilities and swing-bed facilities. Senate Bill 2113 was introduced by the North Dakota Department of Human Services after the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program received multiple contacts from facility residents, families and facility staff members with questions about electronic …

— Emergency respite funding for eligible North Dakota caregivers is now available through the Lifespan Respite Care Grant. The purpose of the Lifespan Emergency Respite Care Grant Service is to offer the funding and resources to support caregivers of children with special needs or of adults who have an urgent need for respite care in the absence of any other funding sources. Caregivers, for the purpose of the grant, include: family members (including spouses and parents), foster parents, or other adults …

— If you’re not currently a caregiver, you likely will be one in the future or need the help of a caregiver yourself at some point in your life. This year AARP North Dakota is hosting a series of caregiving telephone town halls to help support North Dakota family caregivers. If you missed our first telephone town hall on March 12, you can watch and listen to it here. We covered three main topic areas: what resources are available to caregivers …

— Cars have changed. So have traffic rules, driving conditions, and the roads you travel every day. Some drivers age 50+ have never looked back since they got their first driver’s license, but even the most experienced drivers can benefit from brushing up on their driving skills. By taking a driver safety course you’ll learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques, and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. You’ll learn how …

— AARP North Dakota is urging state legislators to pass a bill to make it easier for the state’s 62,000 unpaid caregivers to assist their friends and relatives at home. During the legislative session starting Jan. 3, AARP North Dakota’s top priority is the passage of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act. Already passed by 37 states, the District of Columbia and two territories, the legislation ensures that family caregivers are kept informed and are provided with an explanation …

— Bismarck is ranked among the top 10 most livable small cities in the country, according to data analyzed from the newly updated AARP Livability Index. The index uses more than 50 national data sources to score every neighborhood and community in the U.S. based on seven categories of livability: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. Users can search the index by address, zip code, or community to find an overall livability score. When the Livability Index was first …

— To recognize their integral work to support family caregivers in North Dakota, AARP named Senator Judy Lee, West Fargo, Representative Kathy Hogan, Fargo, and Representative Jay Seibel, Beulah, as 2017 “Capitol Caregivers,” a bipartisan group of nearly 100 elected officials from more than 30 states. These leaders have advanced policies to support family caregivers, who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community. “AARP thanks Senator Lee and Representatives Hogan and Seibel …

— As bitter cold temperatures settle in, most families are turning up their thermostats to stay warm. For some low- and fixed-income households, cranking up the heat is not always an option. The North Dakota Department of Human Services reminds people that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally-funded program pays a portion of home heating costs for qualifying low-income households. Older adults, people with disabilities, and families with children age five and younger …

— Legislation to support North Dakota’s 62,100 family caregivers met with mixed results during the 2017 North Dakota Legislature. House Bill 1038 made its way through both the House and Senate and was signed by Gov. Burgum on April 18. The legislation allows the Department of Human Services to apply for a $200,000 federal grant to provide caregivers with additional respite care. Increased access to respite care across the state is critical. Respite care helps to support family caregivers, many who …

— AARP has a group of volunteers from across the state who are trained to be “Fraud Fighters,” and are willing to provide valuable presentations to help protect North Dakotans from fraud and scams. The Fraud Fighters are equipped with resources and up-to-date information to help safeguard against identity theft and other scams. Presentations include information on watchdog alerts, how to spot and avoid scams, and how to protect yourself and your family. If you know of an organization or service …