— With the 2018 legislative session under way, AARP Oklahoma is pressing for bills related to caregiving, prescription drugs and assisted living facilities. The state office’s legislative priorities include updating guardianship laws to help prevent elder abuse, improving access to health care by expanding the authority of advanced practice registered nurses, requiring assisted living facilities to maintain backup power sources, curbing the cost of prescription drugs and allowing employees to use paid family leave for caregiving. AARP Oklahoma is recruiting volunteers …

— Every day, a silent army of 524,000 Oklahomans perform a great labor of love by performing family caregiving duties by helping their parents and significant others remain at home. AARP is fighting to support family caregivers who help make it possible for older Americans and other loved ones to live independently at home—where they want to be. Click the videos below to hear personal stories from Carol, John, Michelle and Regina – all Oklahoma family caregivers that utilized AARP’s family …

— Across a spectrum of political views, 87 percent of likely Oklahoma voters support services that can help people live in their own homes as they age, according to a recent nonpartisan SoonerPoll. Most respondents support home- and community-based services such as hospice care, home health care, visiting nurses, transportation, home-delivered meals, senior centers, help with housekeeping, respite care and a central place for caregiving information. More than 524,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma provide assistance to help a parent, spouse or …

— A new state law improves power of attorney rules to better protect vulnerable Oklahomans from financial exploitation. A power of attorney is a legal document through which an individual (called a principal) authorizes someone else (called an agent) to manage the principal’s money. The law allows a family caregiver who has power of attorney to continue in that role, even if the loved one becomes incapacitated and needs a guardian. Previously, power of attorney documents were terminated if the principal …

— In one of the most disaster-prone states in the country, AARP Oklahoma has released a disaster preparedness kit called Game Day. Available online in September as part of National Preparedness Month, the kit is designed to help individuals and families be prepared in case an emergency strikes. It includes special information for family caregivers and provides tips from the AARP Fraud Watch Network on how to avoid scams in the aftermath of a disaster. Oklahoma and McClain counties have declared …

— AARP Oklahoma named Gov. Mary Fallin (R), state Sen. Brian Crain (R) and state Rep. Harold Wright (R) as Capitol Caregivers at a legislative breakfast in March. The designation recognizes their leadership in passing a first-in-the-nation law that helps family caregivers provide follow-up care when a patient comes home from a hospital stay. The Oklahoma lawmakers were among a bipartisan group of 46 legislators and three governors in 19 states who were recognized for their efforts to advance policies that …

— Disaster rarely gives you a heads up, and can take many unexpected forms. Everyone should have a plan of action, but some Americans can be particularly vulnerable during times of uncertainty. It’s important to keep this in mind when forming an effective plan, and to consider your personal needs. Disaster preparation is more than storing water and food, and every situation requires a different solution. On our recent episode of  AARP Live, our panel of experts shared important information to help you and your loved …

— AARP Oklahoma is working with tribal leaders and the state Department of Health to reduce health disparities among Native Americans through better nutrition. During the Seventh Generation conference, which will be held in Norman April 7-9, Shannon Francis from the Denver Indian Center will present an indigenous cooking demonstration. Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized tribal nations and the second largest population of Native Americans in the country, according to the U.S. Census. Many Native Americans in the state …

Julie Lee

— By Julie E. Lee, Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety in the Education & Outreach group Life on the road looks quite a bit different today than it did when most of us older drivers got our driver’s licenses. Formal driver’s education – or “driver’s ed” courses – first became available in the U.S. in the 1930s, and just as the rules of the road, automobiles and roadway infrastructure are constantly changing, so too are the safety …

— By Susan Lutz, Project Advisor for AARP’s Education and Outreach Health Team It’s happened before: A long-time employee is denied leave when her boss asserts that it is not a daughter’s responsibility to care for her ailing mother as long as her father is still alive. Could this happen to you? As our population and labor force ages, caring for an older relative will become as common as taking care of children. With the majority of older people relying on …