AARP and the nonprofit group Disability Rights Wisconsin are urging Gov. Scott Walker, R, and legislators to lift enrollment caps from Family Care, a state program that provides home-delivered meals, in-home care, transportation and other services that help people continue to live independently. Family Care serves about 35,000 people in 57 of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Expansion into the remaining 15 counties and increasing enrollment in existing counties, however, have been put on hold.
"The governor has said he is considering lifting the caps — if the case can be made that doing so would save the state money in the long run," said Helen Marks Dicks, AARP state advocacy director.
A recent report from the Legislative Audit Bureau found Family Care's services are less expensive than nursing home care. To ask the governor to remove the caps, call 1-800-844-2847.
AARP Wisconsin is recruiting volunteers in every congressional district to work with state legislators and members of Congress on issues important to citizens age 50-plus.
After training, volunteers will call, write and visit lawmakers; secure signatures on petitions; participate in policy hearings; and meet with community groups to discuss issues such as protecting Medicare and Social Security and adequately funding long-term care.
"This is an opportunity for members to be on the inside track of important issues and to know they are making a real difference," said Mariann Muzzi of AARP Wisconsin. To get involved call Muzzi toll-free at 1-866-448-3611, ext. 6303, or email her at email@example.com.
In a state where about 178,000 people age 65-plus lack a driver's license or state-issued photo identification card, AARP aims to keep a new voter ID law from disenfranchising voters. Some older voters do not drive and may have trouble traveling to a Division of Motor Vehicles service center to get a card.
Wisconsin is one of nine states that now require or request that voters show a photo ID at the polls. Several more states are considering such laws.
In Wisconsin, voters without licenses can get one for free but must apply at a DMV service center with certain documents in hand. AARP is working with other organizations to provide transportation and ease the process. If you know someone who needs help obtaining a photo ID, call 1-866-448-3611 toll-free.