— 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 …

— If you haven’t filed your income-tax return yet and need some help, don’t worry – free, qualified assistance is available near you. The AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide Program offers no-cost services to low- and moderate-income Texans at hundreds of locations for help in preparing and filing federal tax returns. Bart Hatfield, an AARP volunteer who oversees the Tax-Aide program as its western regional coordinator in Texas, said people don’t need to be AARP members to participate, so the program sees a …

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 …

— 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. …

— La Gran Tamalada, a free event hosted by AARP Texas, offers a hands-on way to learn how to make tamales. This year the festive workshop will be held Sunday, Dec. 17, from 3-5 p.m., at the Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St., San Antonio. In many parts of Texas, preparation of big batches of tamales is a family-centered celebration during the holidays. AARP Texas invites adults and children to learn about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods involved. Held annually since …

4 States

— Community organizer and volunteer Albert Valtierra has worn many hats: company executive, historian, grandfather, activist. But lately the proud Mexican-American and retiree of 20 years has been wearing a different hat – a party hat. Partnering with AARP, Valtierra and the Dallas Mexican-American League will host Fiesta Diez y Seis con AARP. The Sept. 17 celebration in Dallas is one of over 10 upcoming community events organized by AARP Texas and other groups in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, …

4 States

— Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey can create high levels of stress and anxiety for survivors. Research shows most recover but others can suffer psychological disorders like post-tramautic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Those who need to talk are urged to seek help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has made its disaster distress helpline available at 800-985-5990 to serve those experiencing emotional distress related to a natural …

4 States

— Texans who have lost their homes due to damage from Hurricane Harvey could be eligible for special federal disaster assistance. In addition, Texans with federally backed mortgages who were already at risk of losing their homes for financial reasons before Harvey struck are getting a temporary reprieve from foreclosure. The Department of Housing and Urban development announced last week a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for people in the counties that have …

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 …