— 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 …

—   Food insecurity and hunger have a devastating effect on rural Oklahoma – in particular Pottawatomie County – so says a new study today released by AARP. Nearly half of Pottawatomie County residents surveyed say they, or someone in their household, has experienced food insecurity and two-thirds say someone close to them — like a neighbor or friend — has experienced this problem, said AARP Executive Council Member and Shawnee resident Tewanna Edwards. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines …

— 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 …

— With less than a month left before Tax Day, AARP Fraud Fighters are warning Oklahomans about tax identity theft scams circulating widely across the state and encouraging people to take advantage of AARP’s free tax preparation services. “Already this year, hundreds of Oklahomans have been victims of tax identity theft and many more are putting themselves at risk,” says AARP Oklahoma Fraud Fighter Ethel Broiles. “All scammers need is a birthdate and Social Security number and they can electronically file …

— 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 …

— By LOUISE SCHROEDER I know that the best way to remain independent during my “senior years” (society’s term for this time of my life, not mine) is to get and stay healthy.  Like many other people who are part of the “senior” population, staying in control of my life is one way I define what growing older successfully means to me. Early last year I went to a doctor (who still accepted new Medicare patients) for my “welcome to Medicare” …