What the $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Means for Older Americans

The $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress funds federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year, eases the sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and ends the lingering threat of another government shutdown. It also affects a number of programs especially important to older Americans. Here’s how, according to an AARP analysis: Increases spending by $41 million on nutrition programs for older Americans, including Meals on Wheels. This replaces across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, that took hold …

Affordable Housing for LGBT Older Adults on the Rise

Until recently, if you were older, gay, and low-income, finding housing would have proven elusive. That is beginning to change. This month, a six-story affordable housing apartment building for gay, lesbian and transgendered adults over age 62 has opened in downtown Philadelphia. It offers heath services and events under its roof to residents who live in the 56 one-bedroom units. The John C. Anderson Apartments, as it is known, is part of a growing trend of similar LGBT senior housing …

6 Things to Watch in Congress

Members of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

Invasion of the Facebook Snatchers?

[View the story "Invasion of the Facebook Snatchers?" on Storify] Story Summary: According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project, 42 percent of online adults use multiple social networking sites, but Facebook remains the platform of choice. Users 65+ have grown more than any other demographic on Facebook. We survey reaction to the study, including those who believe that younger people are abandoning Facebook, or should. Also of Interest 6 Mobile Apps to …

Could Virginia’s Voter ID Law Swing an Election?

You’ve probably read about the problems that many voters - especially older voters - have encountered under voter ID laws, many of which are relatively new. (There was the recent case, for example, of former House Speaker Jim Wright being turned away because, at 90, he didn’t have a valid driver’s license.) Among those who may have to make long trips to government offices to obtain voter ID cards are people without driver’s licenses (which, like Wright, many older Americans may no …

Still Need a Reason to Quit Smoking? How About This?

By now, we thought, everyone knows that smoking does serious damage to your heart and lungs and multiplies your risk of developing lung cancer (23 times if you’re a man, and 13 times if you’re a woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Unfortunately, however, that’s not a powerful enough incentive for the 21.4 percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 and 7.9 percent of adults 65 and older who still light up, despite the health risks. …