— Often overlooked when considering the long-term health of older adults, social isolation deserves to be addressed. Today, AARP estimates that 17% of adults age 50 and older suffer from isolation. Isolation is not always talked about but it is an important public health issue that affects millions of Americans.  But what is isolation, and who is prone to be affected by it? Isolation can affect anyone, no matter how social or physically capable they may seem. It takes two distinctive …

— By Thomas Korosec When Elizabeth Ellis, a nurse practitioner, opened the B.I.S. Community Clinic last year, she became the first primary care provider based in the small town of Bedias in more than 80 years. “Rural health is why I became a nurse practitioner,” said Ellis, 53. During flu season this past winter, she saw about 160 patients a month—most either under 15 or older than 50, and mostly from rural Grimes County (pop. 26,000). Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) …

— June is National Great Outdoors Month, a time for observing nature and enjoying our surrounding environments. Beginning as a week-long celebration of nature, we now nationally recognize the beautiful countryside, forests and parks of the United States for the entire month of June. This recognition promotes the splendor of our great outdoors and highlights the labors of those who work to preserve nature in our modern world. It raises the awareness of national policies on nature conservation by highlighting the …

— Austin-area residents can learn how to decide, discuss and document their end-of-life wishes at two events this month. AARP Texas is hosting The 3 Ds of Advance Care Planning on consecutive Saturdays, June 16 and 23. The first session will include a screening of the PBS Frontline documentary Being Mortal—followed by a discussion on making and communicating end-of-life decisions and choosing people who can follow through. The second session will focus on the “discuss” and “document” aspects of the process …

— Since April, new Medicare cards have been hitting mailboxes to combat fraud. The new cards replace the Social Security numbers with a Medicare number unique to each member. Though removing Social Security numbers is a step in the right direction to fight identity theft, con artists have been using this change as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting Medicare members. Con artists may try to coerce you into providing information through the phone. There have been several instances of …

— 65,000 Americans will experience a stroke this month, but fewer than 1 in 5 can correctly identify the signs. Why are strokes a leading cause of adult long-term disability, and who is at risk? We asked survivors, the CEO of the American Stroke Association and several medically licensed stroke support group leaders to find out. When Kazue Kikuchi experienced a life-threatening stroke, her world went dark. Impaired vision and disorientation overcame her at the office one day, landing her in …

— May is ALS Awareness Month, a time where we focus our attention on a disease that affects more than 20,000 Americans at any given time. It is also a time to honor those the disease is affecting, and those we have lost. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively weakens muscles, hindering movement and communication. Because of the lack of communication from the motor neurons, muscle control slowly deteriorates. Symptoms differ from case to case. The damage …

— May is Mental Health Month and AARP Texas is focusing on people’s mental health as they age. We asked Dr. Jason Schillerstrom, an associate professor at UT Health San Antonio, about what people should know about mental health and the aging process. Schillerstrom, who is also director of the center’s Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic, says the conditions they most commonly see are depression, dementia and anxiety. But he says that people should not think of these as coming naturally with aging. …

— As we age, our eyesight and reaction time steadily declines, and in a big city like Austin, the drivers that share the road tend to be less than friendly. Public transportation lessens the risk of vehicular accidents, alleviating the stress of being behind the wheel (especially during rush hour). Pat Thomas, an Austin resident and AARP member, started a group called Roll & Stroll in 2015 to help show others the convenience and practicality of public transportation, while touring new …

5 States

— The favorite holiday of our proud state falls on Friday, March 2. While a weekend trip to the San Antonio Southside Missions is a popular way to commemorate our state’s independence, as a Texan, you’re probably not too keen on following the herd. Here are three rebellious ways that you can embrace your Texan identity and keep community close to your heart. Explore the Multicultural Lone Star State Houston was listed in 2017 as the most culturally diverse city in …