States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Don’t Hang Up on Landlines Just Yet

As a family caregiver to Mom and Pop for many years, I know reliable technology can mean the difference between life and tragedy. Yet, in states across the country, phone companies that provide landline service are trying to force residents to switch to a new wireless phone option – one that does not work with many medical monitoring devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators, home security systems, and sometimes even 911. In New Jersey, for example, the phone company doesn’t want …

Iowa Senator Gets a Tearful Earful

The August recess gives Capitol Hill lawmakers a chance to hear from their constituents back home, and sometimes that earful is downright heartbreaking. An anguished woman wept at the North Senior Center in Des Moines, Iowa, as she explained how a proposal to change the method of calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security would leave her nowhere to cut in her precarious budget. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat who opposes the “chained CPI” proposal, heard this from Sheryl Tenicat: “I …

Iowa nail-biter launches presidential campaign

Thank you, Iowa, for a thrilling opener to the 2012 presidential election! Drum roll, please. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney eked out an eight-vote victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum, 24.6 percent to 24.5 percent. Rep. Ron Paul came in third at 21.5 percent. Voters over 50 dominated the caucuses, accounting for six in 10 votes. Those 50 to 64 split their votes between Romney and Santorum. Of those over 65, 33 percent preferred Romney; Santorum was second choice, at …

And The Republican Presidential Nominee Will Be?!

With all eyes on Iowa tonight, the Republican Presidential nominees wait with baited breath as Iowans come together and cast their vote at the caucuses. We know you’ve probably been watching the news and hearing the political back and forth, so our editor of AARP The Bulletin, Jim Toedtman, developed this quiz for you to see how your good your political prowess is. So make your predictions for the 2012 elections, keep them and see how your fared this time …

In Iowa, it’s handshake-to-handshake combat

Everything that’s wonderful about the Iowa caucuses is on parade in the frenzied days before the Jan. 3 showdown. It’s handshake-to-handshake combat, retail politicking at its finest. You can find Michele Bachmann praying on a Sunday morning with the congregation of the Harvest Baptist Church in Fort Dodge and then by day’s end admiring the beer-can Christmas tree at the Thirsty Dog Lounge in Manly. Or Newt Gingrich autographing a box of Corn Pops for a supporter at a rally …