What an experience that was. We learned, danced, drummed, and even talked sex along with twenty-five thousand of AARP's finest members. Best AARP party yet? Check.
I met AARP New York volunteers Ron and Carolyn, who told us about their work volunteering through AARP for the Safe Streets for Seniors program - and how because of that, their crosswalk now has a countdown on the light. I met Gwen and Ken from Chicago, who told me about Ken's aunt Annabelle - "the first black nurse at her Mississippi hospital in the 20s", and how Annabelle's daughter and granddaughter both grew up to be nurses too. Between songs at Crosby, Stills, and Nash - "you mean you've never seen them live before?"- I met a guy named Chuckie, who told me about being Lynyrd Skynryd's lead guitarist, once upon a time. I filmed an AARP drum circle, and choked up while Gloria Gaynor covered "Killing Me Softly."
Nomination for best quote: "Let 'em on up! Let 'em on up! This ain't heavy metal, you know. What -you think they're gonna hit you with their canes?" - David Crosby, as the crowd gathers by the stage for Crosby, Stills and Nash's two encores of Saturday night.
There's lots of video up on our YouTube channel - and we'll add more as we see people posting it over the next few days.
We got serious, too: the Orlando Sentinel interviewed career counselor Ronald Allen. "On Thursday, he talked to a guy in his late 60s who worked so many jobs for so little money that he didn't have enough of a pension to retire, and a fellow who was interested in starting his own business."
Why'd we do sex ed? Well - maybe because of this stat: "The study showed that among men over 50, 91% did not use a condom when they had sex with a date or casual acquaintance, and 70% didn't even do so when they had sex with someone they just met. Their female peers are more careful in general, but a majority of them have sex without a condom."
More info is never a bad thing: "HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $68 million in grants to help seniors, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers better understand and navigate their health and long-term care options. "
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, in a debate this weekend: "The age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare may need to be raised for future recipients." However, "Paul said he doesn't want to change those benefits for older people already receiving them." Paul said, "But we do have to admit that we have the baby boom generation getting ready to retire, and we're going to double the amount of retirees. And to put our head in the sand and just say we're just going to keep borrowing more money is not going to work. There will have to be changes for the younger generation."
Medicare signup this year: Not fun. "In some areas, there will be dozens, even hundreds, of coverage options. The choices must be reviewed not just by current enrollees and a crush of baby boomers newly eligible for the government-run insurance program, but also by millions of people helping older beneficiaries. All of them must navigate a system that is changing rapidly, in part because of requirements imposed by the new health care law."
Not good news for our friends here in the capital working federal jobs: "Federal employees' health insurance premiums will increase at a far greater rate [7.2%] than their pay next year, but less than the premiums of many private-sector workers."
Oh, Verizon Wireless, we knew you were gypping us somehow: "Verizon will give refunds to 15 million customers in the next two months as compensation for incorrect data billing, the company said in a separate statement yesterday. Most of the refunds will be $2 to $6. Current customers will get a credit to their account, while former subscribers will be sent checks, the company said."
Speaking of phones, we continue to get love for our new iPhone/iPad/Touch apps. Blogger Frank Paynter over at Listics pulls up his hot new membership card, virtually; and from Appolicious: "Hate to break it to you, but this is your grandpa's iPhone. And now he has the app to prove it."
That's all (for now!) but we'll have much more as we pick up the pieces from this year's Life@50+. See you all next year in Los Angeles!
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