Last year, AARP funded an expansion of the Southeast Diabetes Initiative, a program dedicated to raising awareness around type 2 diabetes for those most at risk of the disease. AARP is considering another program expansion by adding churches in other states.
Donnell Baker, 79, understands the need for family to stay close when a loved one is admitted to a veterans hospital. Thirteen years ago, her now-late husband, Army veteran and Medal of Honor recipient John F. Baker Jr., needed a medical procedure in Charleston. When he developed complications, she had to stay overnight at a hotel.
South Carolina has the nation’s sixth-highest prevalence of diabetes—affecting more than 1 in 4 over age 65. AARP South Carolina supports an ambitious new group Diabetes Free SC that focuses on prevention and healthy living.
During the pandemic, AARP South Carolina has adapted its outreach to its 180,000 older vets with drive-through Stand Downs and the Virtual Veterans Brigade. The program shares information and free AARP resources to support veterans in the areas of caregiving, avoiding fraud, transitioning to jobs, and connecting vets and military families to benefits.
AARP priorities in 2021 include expanded visitation (in person and virtual) in nursing homes, better reporting on conditions and the need for Medicaid expansion to improve access to care for low-income residents.