— By Philip Lentz Several months ago, a 79-year-old woman went to the emergency room of Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus in Syracuse with confusing symptoms. One moment she was completely paralyzed; the next moment she felt fine. Suspecting a stroke, the doctors used a video link to connect her with Hesham Masoud, a neurologist at Upstate’s downtown location. Masoud observed that the patient had trouble communicating and had weakness in her right arm. A CT scan confirmed the stroke diagnosis. …

— Members of the Kansas Legislature are back in Topeka for the 2018 session and AARP volunteers and staff are also at the Statehouse meeting with legislators and advocating for AARP Kansas priorities and issues that are important to Kansans who are 50 and older. Here are some of the issues we’ll be talking to legislators about. If you support them also, please be sure to contact your legislators. KanCare (Medicaid Expansion) – More than 150,000 Kansans currently fall into a …

— Can Further Help Middle Class NYers with State-Facilitated Workplace Retirement Savings Option, Support for Family Caregivers to Help NYers Age in Own Homes ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement today in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State Message: “AARP is thrilled that Governor Cuomo is walking the talk on his commitment from last year making New York the first ‘age-friendly’ state in the nation. His executive order directing …

— AARP Idaho is hosting its annual Lobby Day on Thursday, Feb. 8. AARP members can visit the Statehouse in Boise, watch lawmakers in action and show support for key issues, such as the Idaho Caregiver Act and access to telehealth. Participants will attend committee meetings and observe House and Senate action. Having AARP members present and actively engaged can show strength in numbers, while highlighting issues affecting constituents age 50 and older. The free event includes bus transportation and lunch, …

— AARP South Dakota advocates will hit the ground running Jan. 9, when the legislature convenes for a session that lasts only eight weeks. AARP staff and volunteers will be in Pierre throughout the session, holding lawmakers accountable on issues that affect constituents age 50-plus. Legislative priorities for 2018 include telehealth and passage of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. In a rural state with a shortage of health care providers, telehealth can improve access to care. The power of attorney …

— By Cristina Rouvalis Jane Johnson’s hands and knuckles are so swollen from her arthritis that she can no longer wear her rings and perform simple every­day tasks. “I can’t open a bag of potato chips,” she said. “My hands hurt when I drive.” The 75-year-old retired teacher dreaded driving for an hour and a half from her home in rural Franklin to a recommended specialist in Pittsburgh. Instead of traveling such a long distance, she drives seven miles down the …

— A 2017 law paved the way for telehealth in Michigan. AARP Michigan backed the bill and is pressing for additional legislation in 2018 to expand its reach. Transportation to medical appointments is often a problem for older adults. Telehealth removes the obstacle by allowing patients to consult with doctors and fill prescriptions over the internet or by mobile phone. In 2018, AARP Michigan will seek passage of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which makes it easier for qualified physicians to …

— In the legislative session that begins Jan. 8, AARP Idaho is urging state lawmakers to pass the Idaho Family Caregiver Act, which would help caregivers confidently perform medical or nursing tasks when a loved one comes home from a hospital stay. The bill would let every hospital patient designate a family caregiver and would require hospitals to make reasonable efforts to show those caregivers how to perform follow-up care. Other legislative priorities include creating a way for small-business employees to …

— Technology has spurred great advances in medicine, and now it’s improving access to health care as well. Act 203 of 2017, which took effect August 1, allows patients in Arkansas to initiate an audiovisual visit with a doctor from home or another convenient remote location. AARP advocates have been gradually chipping away at restrictions on the use of telemedicine in Arkansas. A regulatory change in 2016 allows the use of audiovisual technology for first-time visits between a doctor and patient. Previously, an in-person …

— By Holly Fisher Rep. Shannon Erickson’s great-grandfather was one of those doctors in rural Georgia who traveled the countryside to visit their patients. Sometimes patients paid in cash and sometimes they paid in chickens. Erickson’s mother was a nurse who spent more than 20 years in elder care. Her family history and her understanding of the need for better health care access in South Carolina led Erickson (R-Beaufort) to cosponsor a bill, signed into law in May, revising the Nurse …