— As you get together with your family for the holiday season, take the time to celebrate each other, reflect on the past year, and prepare to usher in a new one. Take advantage of the family gathering to check in on each other’s health and well-being and, just as importantly, discuss the needs of loved ones who may need a family caregiver. Start the Conversation From recognizing that a loved one needs help, to determining which family members or friends …

— 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 …

— Worried about keeping the heat on? AARP Pennsylvania reminds members and their families that utility companies statewide are required to provide customer assistance programs. Individuals with monthly income up to $1,508 and couples with up to $2,030 may be eligible. For information, call the number on your electric or natural gas bill and ask specifically about the customer assistance program. For a list of utility hotlines, click here. If you don’t get a response or have a complaint, call the …

— Join us for two live webcasts and get answers to your questions. Do you have questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment? Get your answers live! Whether you’re enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling, the two-part Q&A series from AARP Learn@50+ provides answers about the 2018 enrollment process. In part one, AARP’s experts will review the Open Enrollment period (Nov. 1 to Dec. 15) and answer your questions about the process. In part two, the AARP team will lead a …

— Join us for two live Medicare webcasts and get answers to your questions Do you have questions about Medicare coverage and plan options? Whether you’re enrolling for the first time or entering open enrollment, the two-part Medicare Q&A series from Learn@50+ can get you answers about your 2017 plan options. In part one, AARP’s Medicare expert Susan Lutz will review the different parts of Medicare and answer your questions about enrollment periods for new Medicare recipients and open enrollment rules for …

— ICYMI: AARP in Your Community – Pittsburgh Park Ambassador Program This summer, AARP PA and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh are teaming up to help get older adults moving outdoors. Group walks in local parks are planned by the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, Venture Outdoors, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Area AARP volunteers will serve as Park Ambassadors for the program and lead regular outings for older adults in South Park and Frick Park. PrideFest Back in June, AARP …

— ICYMI: AARP in Your Community – York On May 24, York County members relived history at the city’s William C. Goodridge Freedom Center—an important stop on the nation’s underground railroad during the 19th century.  The historic property and museum served as the setting for a reception and educational program that attracted 115 AARP members. The highlight of the program was a presentation by a living history interpreter portraying the character of William C. Goodridge, a former slave who risked his …

— Eating fresh vegetables and fruits is part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be expensive. That’s why AARP Pennsylvania wants residents on fixed incomes to know they may be eligible for four $5 checks redeemable at qualified farmers markets and roadside stands, beginning June 1. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program offers the checks to Pennsylvanians 60 and older whose annual income does not exceed $22,311 for an individual or $30,044 for a couple. The checks are distributed first …

— 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 …