— By AARP Pennsylvania State President Joanne Grossi As AARP Pennsylvania’s state president, I have the privilege of helping shape strategic priorities, building community partnerships with key decision makers and serving as AARP’s spokesperson in Pennsylvania. That means I’m fighting for you and your family on issues that matter most. I’m very proud to be part of a team of talented AARP staff and dedicated volunteers working at the state capitol and in communities statewide.  I wanted you to know our …

— Heading to the Flower Show? So are we! AARP Pennsylvania is excited to be heading to the 2018 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show from March 3 – March 11. After an amazing experience at the 2017 Flower Show, where AARP staff and volunteers engaged with thousands of event goers at our Block Party exhibit space, which included interactive features such as virtual reality, spin art, and a photo booth, AARP is proud to unveil a brand new, interactive exhibit at the …

— WASHINGTON, DC—AARP welcomes passage in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759). The legislation, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and in the U.S. House by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. …

— The PA General Assembly is currently considering legislation (SB 780 and HB 1648) that would recognize telemedicine as a solution to improving health care access. AARP PA strongly supports the proposed legislation. You can learn more about the issue below. What is Telemedicine? Telemedicine or telehealth embraces the use of computers, cellphones or other communication technology to provide patients with the health care they need, when they need it.  It doesn’t replace one-on-one, in-person interactions with a doctor, nurse or …

— By Cristina Rouvalis Jane Johnson’s hands and knuckles are so swollen from her arthritis that she can no longer wear her rings and perform simple every­day tasks. “I can’t open a bag of potato chips,” she said. “My hands hurt when I drive.” The 75-year-old retired teacher dreaded driving for an hour and a half from her home in rural Franklin to a recommended specialist in Pittsburgh. Instead of traveling such a long distance, she drives seven miles down the …

— By Cristina Rouvalis When a sales representative for an electricity supply company came to her Greens­burg home in 2013 promising lower bills, Ronel Baccus said she would consider it. Although she never signed up, she said the alternative energy supplier switched her service over without her knowledge. Baccus, 51, suffered sticker shock as her electric bills climbed from $60 to $260 a month. She has asked the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project to help her get a refund for those higher …

5 States

— More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians care for older parents, spouses or other loved ones, helping them to live independently in their own homes. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and on April 20, 2017, a new law takes effect that will make life a little bit easier for them. The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act helps family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to: Provide …

— AARP Pennsylvania hosted an exclusive Mayoral Roundtable on Livability & Aging in the Lehigh Valley on June 7.  Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez and Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Jr. came together with residents and community leaders to discuss how communities can prepare for an aging population and steps they are taking to make their cities more livable for residents of all ages.   For the Morning Call’s coverage of the event, which includes a short video and …

— By Hilary Appelman Every other Wednesday, Sandra Fair shows up at a community center in West Philadelphia to wash and chop vegetables to make soup. The recipes vary—minestrone, vegetarian chili, and kale and chickpea stew are favorites—but the camaraderie and mission are the same. The soup is distributed to hundreds of older residents, promoting both nutrition and a sense of community. Fair, 65, a former machine operator and concessions manager, said her participation in the Food & Company soup project, …

— State Senate Approval of Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners Praised by AARP Pennsylvania AARP Pennsylvania praised members of the state Senate for approving legislation that will improve access to health care services by granting full practice authority to the state’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Senate Bill 25, sponsored by State Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), passed by a 39-10 vote on April 26 and will allow qualified APRNs to practice independently in their field of specialty after completing a …