— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, to lobby days at the Capitol, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Oregon. We hope you’ll join us! 

— It’s the season of giving and the holiday season is a time when many nonprofits make their annual request for donations. But just as important is the need for volunteers. The founder of AARP, Ethel Percy Andrus, noted that “It is only in the giving of ourselves of others that we truly live.” She believed in community service. It’s part of the DNA of AARP. Volunteering is great for the community, but it’s valuable to volunteers as well! Psychology Today …

— AARP Oregon is hosting several Vital Aging conferences, including Saturday, Nov. 10, at the United Unitarian Church, 1685 W. 13th Ave., Eugene. The event, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is designed specifically for veterans, the military and their families, but all members are welcome. Speakers include music therapist Jodi Winnwalker and Nathaniel Boehme, of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, who will share resources. Workshops will focus on AARP’s work in the local community as well as on fraud …

— By Merry MacKinnon No Oregon law requires it, but Albany farmer Ben Verhoeven gives all 25 of his employees paid parental leave. “We’re a second-generation family farm and we support families,” said Verhoeven, 35, whose greenhouse, Peoria Gardens Inc., offers workers up to 12 weeks of employer-funded leave at full pay for the birth or adoption of a child. He took paid leave from his own business when his two children were born. But Verhoeven would also like to see …

— Do you remember Charles and Charlane who began dating in an assisted living facility? You may have read about their first stirrings of togetherness, and how they were swept up into a full-fledged romance in Where Singles Meet. Their story ended with the growing physical and mental enfeeblement of Charles, and Charlane’s worsening forgetfulness – the inexorable sprouting of dementia. But they were inseparable. Glued. Like a fraternity pinning in college days gone by. Then the unavoidable! The ineluctable course of …

— By Mac McLean Juanita Santana knew exactly what came next when she retired from her job as director of a Head Start program in San Francisco. She moved to Portland in 2010 and became a full-time caregiver for her parents. That took up so much time that she never thought about what life would be like after they died, which happened a few years later. “It was real difficult for me to find my niche in retirement,” said Santana, 66. …

— Many AARP members and I have this in common–we’ve been on both sides of caregiving. We have given and we have received, and considering life’s trajectory, it’s a trend that will likely continue. Chances are good we will have family members and friends who will depend on us to assist them, provide transportation, and perhaps advocate on their behalf. I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe some of you are like me–occasionally you need some of those very …

— Thirty-five percent of Oregonians live in rural areas, and of those, 44 percent are 65 or older. Yet rural communities lag behind in offering health care, transportation and other services that make a community age-friendly. The first annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon invites policy makers, health care providers, family caregivers and others to explore ways to make it easier for rural Oregonians to age in place. Jon Bartholomew, AARP Oregon government relations director, will discuss factors that make …

— By Merry MacKinnon As newcomers flock to Oregon, soaring housing values are enriching property owners while big rent hikes are pricing out lower-income tenants. “It’s brutal out there,” said Briana Winterborn, a program coordinator for Elders in Action, a Portland nonprofit advocating for older adults. Each week she gets calls from harried renters facing eviction. One client reported a $400 monthly rent increase, which she called a de facto eviction. Under pressure to protect the 39 percent of Oregon’s households …

—   Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social Security office is probably not necessary even if verification of Social Security benefits is needed. Because of a data exchange established between Social Security and HUD, most people do not need to contact Social Security for …

— Dick Weinman is an AARP volunteer and an Assisted Living Guru In the decade that I have been an inmate in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), I have endured “…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune… and have …taken arms against [them], and by opposing – ACCOMPLISHING NOT A DAMN THING. My experience forces me to realize – in an ALF – the Pen is not mightier than the System. I rallied for tissues on tables in the dining room, …