— Oklahoma ranks among the worst in the nation on several measures of quality of care in nursing homes. This must stop! AARP Oklahoma has created the Nursing Home CARE Plan which is a series of bills that begin to correct the ways in which our state’s most frail and vulnerable are cared for: HB 1902 / SB280: Ties nursing home reimbursements to quality of care. SB 142: Puts an end to the shameful and immoral practice of using antipsychotic drugs …

— AARP is now accepting applications for the 2019 Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change in local communities. The grant program, which is now in its third year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone. The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from …

— Downtown Vinita, a rural community of 5,700, has become more hospitable to pedestrians, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the AARP Community Challenge program. The improvements boost the safety and walkability of Vinita’s historic Route 66 Main Street. The grant is part of AARP’s Livable Communities initiative, which helps improve cities and towns for residents of all ages. This year the program awarded $1.3 million to 129 localities and organizations across the country. “The city of Vinita’s innovative approach to …

— AARP Oklahoma presented a $3,000 honorary grant check today to Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to support OSU’s rural broadband outreach program. The $3,000 grant from AARP Oklahoma will fund 12 internet hotspots that are available in public libraries in three rural Oklahoma communities: Davis, Atoka and Marietta. The grant will also fund data services for three devices that OSU previously placed in the Okemah Public Library. The hotspots are …

— A new law will help ensure that hospitals are providing caregivers the assistance they need so patients can receive proper treatment when they go home. In 2014, Oklahoma was the first state in the country to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, which requires hospitals to record the name of a caregiver during admission, to notify that person if the patient is moved or discharged and to prepare the caregiver for simple medical tasks at home. But AARP …

— State residents can work with AARP to help keep utility rates affordable and to help convince state officials that energy bills need to be reasonable. In the past year, AARP Oklahoma has intervened in two cases involving the Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Gas and Electric that would have resulted in higher bills for customers. In both cases, AARP prevailed and Oklahoma residents are holding on to more of their money. Following a June settlement on a rate …

— Tulsa is one of six cities nationwide participating in a pilot project to connect family caregivers with “hyperlocal” resources when they are searching for help for their loved ones. More than 524,000 Oklahomans serve as family caregivers. Residents will be able to download guides offering new information on caregiving resources in their area. For more information, go to aarp.org/ok.

— AARP Oklahoma is cosponsoring two events in Tulsa to promote active aging and independent living. The 2018 Life Senior Services Senior Safety and Lifestyle Fair will be Tuesday, July 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Exchange Center at Expo Square, 4145 East 21st St. Each participant can discard up to two boxes of documents at an AARP shredding station from noon-3 p.m. The Tulsa World Senior Living Expo will be Saturday, Aug. 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Renaissance Tulsa …

— AARP Oklahoma is recognizing some of the Oklahoma FFA’s best and brightest chapters and students with a video, which launched on AARP social media on April 20. The video features 10 Oklahoma FFA chapters that have achieved Model of Excellence recognition by the FFA. Model of Excellence chapters recognized include Burns Flat-Dill City, Colcord, Elgin, Fairview, Howe, Oologah, Owasso, Perkins-Tryon, Stillwater, and Tulsa-Webster. Selection for the Model of Excellence honor is based on the National FFA Three-Star application judging procedure, …

— As wildfires continue to move across the western portion of our state, AARP Oklahoma stands in solidarity with our friends and neighbors impacted, as well as the first responders working tirelessly to fight the fires. Now is the time for Oklahomans to band together to support those impacted. The following resources have been compiled so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest news and aid relief requests. News9 – provides an up-to-date collection of links for donation opportunities Oklahoma Department …

— AARP Oklahoma donated $10,000 to help a veterans organization replace a van that was totaled by a tornado in August. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard Post 7977 in Skiatook travels up to six days a week to attend veterans’ funerals throughout Oklahoma. A 15-person volunteer team performs rifle salutes and flag presentations for family and friends of the deceased. The honor guard relies on community donations to support the program. More than 68,000 AARP members in Oklahoma are …