— 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 …

— By Gabrielle Wilkosz Whether it’s windstorms, floods or wildfires, Texas endures some of the worst of Mother Nature’s wrath. That’s why it’s vital for the 50+ community, and friends and family, to prepare for unfavorable and even dangerous weather conditions. During the 2017 hurricane season, which runs through November, precautionary measures like assembling a hurricane toolkit, registering with a special needs shelter, and mapping out an evacuation plan can put your mind at ease and possibly save lives. Plan ahead …

— 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 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 …