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AARP state president visits LaGrange chapter

Indiana AARP State President Curt Sylvester presented an interesting and extremely informative program on his goals as president for 2014 at the LaGrange AARP Chapter #3829 meeting held on October 4 at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church.

Sylvester explained his job as president is to be AARP’s chief spokesperson with senators, representatives and their key staff regarding issues that relate to the quality of life for persons age 50 and over and their families. These primary issues include the Consumers Price Index (CPI), the Chained Consumer Price Index (C-CPI), Social Security, Medicare and other issues, both state and federal.

The president described his partnership with the state director and his other collaborations with staff to achieve the AARP vision, mission and strategic priorities. He focuses on active engagement and the involvement of volunteers and members who are impacted by the issue at hand. He goes out to listen to the people’s concerns and continues to make the voices of all Americans age 50 and over be heard, retired or not. Sylvester said “We’ve earned a say,” and he intends to visit every AARP chapter in Indiana.

Sylvester drew attention to the differences between the vulnerable and non-vulnerable seniors that AARP supports, including two important groups: those 50 and older and those 65 and older. Concerns of those who are 50 and older include the need for hospitalization, the lack of a mortgage, the unique needs of caring for three-generation families, and preparation for retirement. The older group’s concerns include the need for caregivers, caregiver support, and home changes for safety and access for the disabled.

The president emphasized AARP’s issues of education and advocacy goals with regard to improving the quality of life for the elderly. Education informs members and the public on issues of concern to seniors such as email SPAM, privacy, and phone scams. Another important concern is reducing environmental barriers to physical activity, such as access to safe community sidewalks and safe trails and roads for bicycling.

Sylvester also said that AARP advocacy goals involve protecting Social Security, Medicare, and any financial consumer issues or social changes that affect seniors.

AARP’s purpose today is the same as it has always been – to ensure that older Americans today and future generations have the best retirement security possible.

All seniors are welcome to attend AARP meetings, both members and quests. The LaGrange County Chapter #3829 meets at 1:30 p.m. at the LaGrange Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 797 N. Detroit St., on the first Friday of every month (except July, which has no meeting). Anyone who is a member of the National AARP is eligible to join the LaGrange Chapter for a small yearly membership fee.