In one of the fastest-aging states in the nation, AARP is pushing to shift more taxpayer dollars earmarked for long-term care to services that can help people continue to live independently in their own homes as they age.
A recent AARP scorecard shows New Hampshire ranks 43rd among the states in the percentage of funding spent on such services. Currently, about 80 percent of the state's long-term care money goes to institutional care, and only 20 percent to home- and community-based services.
Increasing the allocation for cost-effective in-home care is AARP New Hampshire's top priority for 2012, and the state office is asking members to help. Volunteers will speak with legislators, attend public hearings and hold lawmakers accountable for their votes. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manage Your Meds
AARP New Hampshire and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Manchester campus are offering free "brown bag" medicine reviews for state residents.
Participants may bring in a bag containing all of their prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and dietary supplements. A team of pharmacists and pharmacy students will review the contents and discuss possible drug interactions or duplications. Afterward, participants will take home a personal medication record, which they can share with their doctors.
Seventy-five percent of Americans age 45 and older take at least four prescription drugs a day. Medication-related problems cost $200 billion a year nationwide.
Registration is required for a brown bag review. Call 603-314-1706 for an appointment.
AARP has teamed up with New Hampshire Public Television to develop and broadcast a four-part series called "Changing Aging in the Granite State."
Inspired by findings from an AARP survey that plumbed what's on the minds of New Hampshire residents age 50-plus, the series addresses four major issues: consumer fraud, financial security, long-term care and staying healthy. Each episode lasts 30 minutes, and the series will run through December.
For a list of broadcast dates and times, go to nhptv.org. During the run of the show, the New Hampshire Public Television website will post links to resources for viewers age 50-plus.
Financial concerns — such as having enough money to retire — are a major challenge for many New Hampshire residents age 50-plus, a recent AARP survey shows.
Nearly nine out of 10 respondents said making sure their retirement income is adequate is extremely or very important, while nearly one in three reported being extremely or very worried about being financially devastated due to health care costs. Given the uncertainty of the future, 86 percent said they expect to work either full time as long as they are able or part time during their retirement years.
To see other survey results, go to aarp.org/nh.