— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) was presented a Legislative Achievement Award from AARP Texas on Wednesday. With Senator Schwertner’s support, House Bill 2025 was signed into law and will ensure that nursing homes will be held accountable for harming residents. The legislation establishes broader protections against mistreatment of residents of long-term care facilities and will provide stiff penalties for repeat offenses. The legislation is seen by AARP as …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) has been presented a Texas Legislative Achievement Award from AARP Texas. Dr. Oliverson authored and fought for successful passage of legislation – House Bill 3276 – that requires freestanding emergency rooms to be more transparent regarding insurance networks covered by these facilities. The legislation, which received bipartisan support, was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and took effect on Sept. 1. …

— In recognition of her work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Rep. Yvonne Davis (D-Davis) has been presented a Legislative Achievement Award from AARP Texas. Davis sponsored and fought for successful passage of legislation – House Bill 2025 – that will ensure better training for those who provide care to people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Texas. HB 2025 was amended to also include the contents of another major …

— Updated “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides just in time for holidays AARP and Texas Appleseed today released updated versions of five “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides—fresh with references to recently enacted laws—in time for the holiday season when many families gather for important decision-making conversations. The series of guides, originally distributed in March, are a tool for financial caregivers in Texas who manage money or property for those unable to do so for themselves. The interactive resource is available online, …

4 States

— To help loved ones stranded by Hurricane Harvey, federal health officials have relaxed rules dealing with how hospitals and medical providers share certain information about patients. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has given hospitals and medical providers permission to let family members know if their loved one is a patient at their facility and to talk with them about the individual’s condition and care needs. The relaxation of the HIPAA privacy rules enables easy communication between …

— The transition from hospital to home just got easier for patients and family caregivers under a new state law. The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act took effect May 26, immediately after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed it into law. The legislation allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver. It requires the hospital to take reasonable steps to notify the caregiver about discharge plans and to show the caregiver how to perform follow-up medical tasks. At least 36 …

— By Laura Tillman Marie-Pierre Stien of Houston is a creative person fond of trying new things. A school administrator, she writes flash fiction—stories of less than 500 words—and she’s working on illustrations she will give away to people. It’s not surprising that Stien, 54, isn’t intimidated by social media. She uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for her artistic endeavors and for advocacy and outreach. Stien is taking on a relatively new online medium—the podcast—produced by AARP in Houston. The online …

— Texas ranks 35th when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, and AARP warns more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to meet changing demographic demands. Specific areas of concern in Texas include the percent of high-risk nursing home residents with pressure sores, as well as the percent of nursing home residents who are inappropriately receiving an antipsychotic medication. This, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state Scorecard from AARP with support …

— ** High-Priority Nursing Home Quality Legislation Approved ** Older Texans have cause to celebrate several major accomplishments of the 2017 Texas regular legislative session. In the final hours of the session, lawmakers approved a top priority for AARP Texas – major nursing home quality reforms that seek to hold operators of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities more accountable when they have been found to have done harm to their residents. This session, Texas lawmakers also approved numerous AARP-backed …

— Texas lawmakers today finalized a measure that gives important new rights to millions of unpaid family caregivers. A priority for AARP, House Bill 2425 (companion to Senate Bill 1417) would help Texans when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The legislation goes next to the governor’s desk. The measure would ensure hospital patients’ designated family caregivers are offered instruction in providing needed care at home. The measure is vital because unpaid family caregivers often …