— The New Year rang in a new commitment to family caregivers in New Jersey.  As a result of the hard work of AARP staff and volunteers, coalition partners and the leadership of Assemblywomen Lampitt, Mosquera, and Vainieri Huttle as well as Senators Vitale and Greenstein and the Governor, a bill to create a New Jersey Caregiver Task Force (A3514/S959) was signed into law December 28, 2018. Soon after, a bill to significantly expand our state’s Paid Family Leave Insurance Program …

— Despite the inclement weather outside, the Iowa State Capitol was turned into a sea of red vests and red hearts this morning as more than 60 AARP Iowa volunteer activists and a large coalition of healthcare advocates from across the state rallied for support of the 2019 Iowa CARE Act (SF 210/HF 340), a common-sense bill to help Iowa’s 317,000 family caregivers. The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable) Act was passed earlier this month in the Senate Human Resources …

— Greetings one and all… Over the past year, I have presented numerous programs related to the end-of-life experience. I invited my audiences to consider how they want their story to end. We discussed the various medical options at the end of life—the pros and the cons. And we recognized the need for and the blessings of advance care planning. Recently, I learned of a gentleman who is embracing the end of his life in a truly grace-FULL way. Although I …

— This past Wednesday, AARP Iowa hosted a teletown hall event featuring the 2019 Iowa CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable) Act. The bill features four important provisions.  The name of the family caregiver is recorded when their loved one is admitted into a hospital, if a patient chooses to designate one.  Second, the designated family caregiver is notified when their loved one is to be discharged back home.  Third, the hospital discusses the caregivers’ abilities and limitations.  Finally, the hospital discusses …

— Caring for a loved one? Have caregiving challenges and questions? AARP Virginia is sponsoring Navigating the Caregiving Journey conference in Woodbridge on April 13. This annual event connects family caregivers with support and solutions; empowers family caregivers with insights and information; and educates and informs family caregivers with engaging and enlightening presentations. . The goal of the conference is to connect you with support and solutions; empower you with insights and information, and educate you with engaging and enlightening presentations. …

4 States

— AARP New Hampshire, after completing an e-mail survey of our activists, will be involved in the following pieces of legislation this year.  Top issues?  Prescription drugs, elder exploitation, long-term care system rebalancing, help for caregivers such as paid leave and flexibility, and support for grandparents. Here is what we will be following this session: Budget We need to increase rates for home- and community-based services (HCBS) and rebalance the long-term care system so a greater percentage is spent on HCBS …

— If you’re not currently a caregiver, you likely will be one in the future or need the help of a caregiver yourself at some point in your life. Join a series of caregiving telephone town halls beginning in March hosted by AARP North Dakota. All North Dakotans are welcome to participate, especially those people who are currently caregivers, those who anticipate becoming a caregiver, and those who receive care from a family member or friend. The first telephone town hall …

— Today, let’s chat about those moments when we desperately want to DO something for a family member or a friend…..but we feel powerless to do anything of significance. In those moments we wonder, “What can I do?”   In the iTunes Podcast store for Apple iPhone, iPad and Mac users In the Google Music store for Android OS users, On SoundCloud.com or using the SoundCloud mobile app on both iPhone and Android. You can also find the podcast on TuneIn, which also has an iPhone and Android app as well.

— Dear Friends: The New Year had just begun when I ‘missed’ two steps in my house and broke toes on my left foot. I also hit my face and got myself a dark purple ‘black eye’. I know all of the statistics about the number of people who fall in their own homes and severely injure themselves. However, I was lucky. My husband, Jack, was home and got me to a doctor who prescribed a ‘big, black boot’, a cane, …

— AARP Virginia encourages everyone to help end senior hunger by giving soup and crackers to the Local Office on Aging (LOA)’s annual Soup for Seniors collection. Contributions will make a huge difference in the lives of your homebound neighbors. This year’s goal is 50,000 cans of soup to be delivered to more than 3,500 local residents. The soup collected helps provide a hot meal on a cold day and also reminds them, in the bleakest part of winter, that the …