— AARP Oklahoma wants to ensure that residents in the state’s nursing facilities receive proper care and attention. Last year a study from AARP’s Public Policy Institute found that Oklahoma’s nursing facilities had the second-highest rate in the U.S. of residents at high risk for pressure sores. Such sores are worrisome because they can lead to dangerous infections. Oklahoma also ranked first in the nation in the use of antipsychotic medications for patients without a psychiatric diagnosis. AARP Oklahoma is working …

— Lawmakers will consider recommendations from a state task force about how to provide additional support for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. State leaders, including representatives from AARP South Dakota, have been developing proposals for the legislative session that starts Jan. 8. The plan will include ways to improve public awareness, boost access to care, support family caregivers, and bolster training and workforce development. The recommendations will also focus on safety, legal issues and research related to the disease. …

— Kansans who aren’t able to put money away for retirement through payroll deductions at work may soon have another way to save. More than 420,000 residents, or about 42 percent of the state’s private-sector workers, don’t have a way to save for retirement through their jobs. AARP Kansas is working with legislators to develop a “work-and-save” program so small businesses can provide employees with professionally managed and easy-to-use investment options. AARP Kansas is asking members to contact their legislators (through …

— By Sheila Burke When Tom Piech started exploring the idea of offering a 401(k) savings plan for employees of his family’s small, booming online business, he had no idea of the hurdles ahead. The retired pharmacist from Livingston, 67, was familiar with such retirement plans because he’d invested in one himself. But providing one to the 30 workers at Value Pet Supplies was a whole different ballgame. “It took about two years, and I found that it is a very …

— State retirees paid into Social Security throughout their working lives and now count on it to make ends meet. What they don’t appreciate is having to pay state taxes on that vital retirement money. But Utah is one of 13 states that tax Social Security income. AARP Utah is urging legislators to remove at least part of this tax on older residents. Members can press lawmakers on the issue during the 45-day session that starts Jan. 28 and also fight …

— When Montana’s Legislature convenes its biennial session on Jan. 7, lawmakers will address several critical priorities for 50-plus residents. AARP Montana will push for full funding for Area Agencies on Aging to help the 118,000 Montanans who provide unpaid care to family members or friends. Other priorities on the agenda include protecting Medicaid expansion—which provides health insurance for 96,000 residents—from attempts to defund it, and urging reinstatement of money for guardianship training. In addition, AARP will support efforts to stave …

— Hurricane Michael hit north Florida in October, leaving a swath of destruction 80 miles wide. Older adults may be especially vulnerable during the rebuilding period, months after the state experienced this potent storm. Recognizing this, AARP Florida will be providing guidance on ways to rebuild communities that are more livable and resilient, particularly for those in coastal and Panhandle areas who were living in manufactured or mobile homes. To learn more, go to aarp.org/fldisasterhelp. AARP Florida is also preparing an …

— AARP North Dakota is urging state legislators to pass a bill to make it easier for the state’s 62,000 unpaid caregivers to assist their friends and relatives at home. During the legislative session starting Jan. 3, AARP North Dakota’s top priority is the passage of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act. Already passed by 37 states, the District of Columbia and two territories, the legislation ensures that family caregivers are kept informed and are provided with an explanation …

— AARP North Dakota is looking for volunteers to work with state legislators on issues such as caregiving, health care access, transportation and property taxes. The state legislature reconvenes on Jan. 3, and AARP is seeking volunteers to join its advocacy team. Members will talk with lawmakers about issues critical to residents 50 and older. Ideally, the group will consist of at least one resident from each of the 53 counties in North Dakota, who are prepared to meet with legislators …

South Dakota State Capitol in Winter

— South Dakotans age 50-plus will make their voices heard on issues important to them during AARP’s annual day at the capitol. Lawmakers will return to Pierre on Jan. 8 for the new legislative session, and AARP advocates will visit the Statehouse Tuesday, Jan. 29. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators one-on-one and explain their views on issues such as livable communities, financial security and support for family caregivers. Those issues are expected to be a central …