— By Linda H. Lamb While Gene and Gayle Esarove aren’t globe-trotting jet-setters, they do fly to Texas every year to visit their son, and they have other family members scattered all over the country. That’s why they did all the paperwork for the federally required REAL ID even before it became available in South Carolina earlier this year. By October 2020, everyone who wants to board a commercial flight will have to show a new, REAL ID driver’s license or …

— It’s been 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, changing the course of civil rights in America. AARP South Carolina invites members to celebrate the MLK holiday weekend, Jan. 12-15, in Myrtle Beach. AARP is a key sponsor of the celebration, which includes a 5K Freedom Run, film festival, ecumenical service, talent show and parade. Saturday morning will feature a job fair and workshops on contract possibilities for small businesses and the …

— By Linda H. Lamb When Jackie Green offered ideas on a new website for caregivers in the state, she kept thinking about the years she helped take care of her stepmother, then in her 80s. “I had to learn how to get help for her,” Green said, describing frustrating searches for services and information. State agencies helped steer her toward answers, but there were always more questions, on almost everything from financial aid to where to find pads for incontinence. …

— By Holly Fisher Steve and Doris Gleason bought a house in Pawleys Island, with plans to retire in five years. Then, at 52, Steve was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had exercised, eaten well and never smoked. “We never saw this coming,” Doris said. Suddenly all their plans were turned upside down. Ninety days after diagnosis, her husband of 25 years was gone. “We had one glorious summer at the beach,” Doris recalled. Steve was a planner, so …

— Perhaps you’re an empty nester. Or maybe you never raised kids but would love to have a grandchild. Either way, you can provide a loving home to a South Carolina child in need of foster care. AARP South Carolina reminds Palmetto Staters that they can make a critical difference in the life of a child by becoming a foster parent. Some 4,000 kids are in foster care in the state, and the typical foster parent is between 49 and 57 …

— The first regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 10, 2016. AARP South Carolina is ready to work on behalf of its 615,000 Palmetto state members. Need to find contact information for your  House or Senate member?  >> Click here 2017 South Carolina State Advocacy Priorities FAMILY CAREGIVERS – About 700,000* caregivers in SC provide vital services to their loved ones. Caregivers in our state need quality supportive programs and access to services …

— By Curtis Loftis, South Carolina Treasurer The holiday season is here and with it comes the age-old question, “What gift do I give my grandkids this year?” The usual sweater, toy or game may quickly be tossed aside or find its way to the back of a closet. I’m State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, here to offer you a better idea: This year, give a gift that will last. Give the gift of education by helping your grandchild on the path …

— By Linda H. Lamb As a registered nurse for more than 30 years, Cynthia Gilstrap gave help and comfort to patients during some of their most vulnerable times. But during her own most vulnerable time, following a stroke in 2015, she often has found help agonizingly hard to locate. Gilstrap, 55, of Pelzer, her sister, Lisa Evans, and legal advocates say the state Department of Social Services made things worse after Gilstrap—temporarily lacking a family caregiver—called DSS for assistance one …

— The South Carolina Department of Social Services has an Adult Advocacy Division that protects the health and welfare of elderly, disabled, and vulnerable adults. Adult Protective Services (APS) is part of this Division. The Division coordinates services to individuals who are 18 or older and are the victims of actual or potential abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation. In June 2015 the Institute of Medicine and Public Health issued a Long Term Care Task Force report with 32 recommendations to improve …

— Open enrollment for health insurance plans available through the Affordable Care Act marketplace runs Nov. 1-Jan. 31, and AARP South Carolina is encouraging consumers to shop around. Health plans and premiums change from year to year, and so does an individual’s health care needs. Sixty percent of those who actively re-enrolled last year switched to a different plan and saved an average of $516 after tax credits. South Carolina has not expanded Medicaid, and the state has a higher percentage …