— By Kelly Ganski At 59, Rosanna Márquez of Chicago has the same concerns as other 50-plus voters. As the AARP Illinois president, Márquez is in a unique position to hear from older residents about issues important to them. Turns out they’re the same issues she’s passionate about: taxation of retirement income, home- and community-based services and, mainly, the Illinois fiscal crisis. “I’ve heard a lot of seniors say, ‘We’re so concerned, and we’re so frustrated, and we’re fairly scared about …

— AARP Louisiana will host its annual Caregiver Day at the Capitol on April 18. The event honors about 660,000 unpaid family caregivers in the state—and gives them a chance to let lawmakers know what kinds of support their loved ones need. The event will include a rally, as well as meetings between legislators and their constituents. The vast majority of Louisianans want to live at home as they age, but find it difficult to do so without help with daily …

— By Drew Jubera Three years ago, Kay Argroves, a nurse anesthetist, read a story about advocacy volunteers for AARP Georgia. It intrigued her. Argroves had always been interested in the political process, and this looked like a way to become more involved. “I vote every chance I get,” said the Madison resident. “But voting can only go so far.” So Argroves contacted the AARP state office, attended training for volunteers and found herself under the Gold Dome, navigating a maze …

— By Vanessa Ho Every weekend, Mark Diimmel goes out for dinner and a movie with his sister, who often takes him to get Chinese or Italian food, or maybe burgers and a milkshake. Diimmel, 64, has schizophrenia and lives in an adult family home in Bremerton, paid for by Medicaid and Social Security. But the outings have become more difficult. Everything costs more, while his personal-needs allowance—the amount of income Diimmel is allowed to keep for himself—has remained the same, …

Three Nurses

— Mississippi has the fourth-highest percentage of rural residents in the country and the lowest number of doctors per capita. Meanwhile, the state’s 60-plus population is growing faster than any other age group. These factors can make it hard to access medical care, especially for those who don’t drive. AARP Mississippi is pushing for legislation that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to evaluate patients, order and interpret tests and manage care. Currently, these nurses must have a collaborative agreement with …

— By Miriam Davidson Marquetta White knew that her 91-year-old father, who cares for her 87-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, could benefit from a support group. But the retired state employee and social worker had trouble convincing him. “He’d tell me, ‘I don’t need to go cry on someone’s shoulder,’ ” said White, 66, of Mesa. “Then a funny thing happened: He went, and he loved it. “Now, he still won’t listen to me, but he listens to the people in …

— By Christina Hernandez Sherwood Two years ago, Lorri Smalls left South Carolina for New Jersey to help care for her aunt, Terri Ago, who is in her 70s. The women share an apartment in East Orange and Smalls, 44, accompanies Ago to doctor appointments, cooks meals, mends clothes and assists her aunt with other needs. Smalls said she volunteered for this role out of love, but has spent thousands of dollars along the way. “Caregiving is a compassionate gift that …

— Employees are much more likely to save for retirement if they can do so through automatic payroll deductions. Yet more than 55 million U.S. workers do not have access to a savings plan at work. When the state legislature convenes in January, AARP Tennessee will be pushing for Work and Save, a program that would make it easy for small businesses that do not currently offer a 401(k) or similar plan to give workers a way to put money aside …

— Which issues will be front and center when the state legislature convenes in January? Find out during a tele-town hall on Tuesday, Nov. 28. AARP Alabama will detail its legislative priorities for 2018, including help for family caregivers, access to home and community-based services, improving guardianship laws, and protecting Medicaid. Alabama is home to about 761,000 family caregivers who provide unpaid services worth more than $7.7 billion per year. Medicaid provides health coverage for nearly 1 million Alabamians per month. …

— AARP Missouri is meeting with legislators, hospital administrators and health care professionals this month to garner support for a measure that could help family caregivers when a loved one comes home from a hospital stay. The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act would allow every hospital patient in the state to designate a family caregiver. The hospital would make reasonable attempts to inform the caregiver before the patient is discharged and to show the caregiver how to perform medical tasks …