Entries in AARP (4)


More Americans in Their 50s Facing Hunger

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- Nancy and Randal Watkins say they were just like most middle-class couples in their early 50s.

The Lexington, Ky., couple made sure that every bill was paid on time. Then last year, Randal Watkins got sick and soon after his wife got sick. They eventually lost their jobs.

Now they can barely put food on the table.

According to an AARP report on hunger released Tuesday, nearly 9 million Americans in their 50s are more likely to be hungry than people in their 60s and 70s. When the 50-year old Americans become food insecure, they become twice as likely to become diabetic and five times more likely to suffer from depression.

"These are folks suffering from the recession and the economic declines in this country," Jo Ann Jenkins, president of the AARP Foundation, said. "Some of them have just recently lost jobs."

"Sometimes you don't want to get up," Nancy Watkins told ABC News through tears. "You think today will be better. So I'm thinking 'Lord, let me feel better.' Yea, every day that I get up."

The Watkinses use all kinds of tricks to make their food last. They eat food that's gone bad and eat cereal without milk.

"Sometimes there's not a lot of milk but you compromise," Nancy Watkins said. "You can use water."

They make too much from disability to get food stamps but the couple doesn't make enough to pay their bills. They owe $25,000 to a Kentucky hospital.

The Watkinses say they have to remain positive.

"Always remember that you're blessed regardless," Nancy Watkins said. "There's somebody out there worse off than you."

If you would like to donate money to help those in need of food, there are several ways. Feeding America will help provide food to an estimated 14 million children this year. The organization says that for $45, it can feed a family of four for a month. You can also make a food donation to your local food pantry.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Baby Boomers Redefining Grandparenthood

PhotoAlto Agency RF / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The image of grandparents as frail 80-year-olds  no longer matches reality for the majority of grandmas and grandpas.

That's because the 32 million baby boomers who are grandparents are significantly younger the grandparents of previous generations.

The average age of first grandparenthood has dropped in recent years from 48 to 47, according to the AARP.

With younger parents, many say the relationship between grandchild and grandparent has changed significantly.

Younger grandparents are not only better at keeping up with grandchildren's agility and energy levels, but they are also more inclined to stay current on their technology skills.

From texting and chatting on Facebook, to picking kids up at school, the increased involvement of younger grandparents is ultimately redefining the connotations that come along with grandparenting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Betty White Fights Old-Age Stereotypes for AARP

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Betty White, pushing 90 and still sizzling in TVLand's Hot in Cleveland, is the new face of AARP, hoping to dispel stereotypes about older Americans.

"Just get over it," says White in a new advertising campaign on television and online. AARP is also sponsoring a contest; first prize is a chance to meet the actress on the set of her show.

Some of White's award-winning roles came well after she had turned 50 -- the sex-crazed "Happy Homemaker," Sue Ann Nivens, in television's Mary Tyler Moore Show and the naïve Rose Nylund in Golden Girls.

She also became a Facebook phenomenon after a Super Bowl commercial, and was the center of last year's successful social media push that scored her appearance as the oldest host ever on Saturday Night Live.

"The campaign makes full use of Betty's wit and comedic history," said AARP's Emilio Pardo. "She is reminding us to get over it. It's not about age, it's about attitude."

"The message is, you can't get rid of me," laughed White in an interview with reporters Monday. In the last two years, her peppy visage has been everywhere.

"I think it's your mental attitude," she said. "So many of us start dreading age in high school and that's a waste of a lovely life. 'Oh…I'm 30, oh, I'm 40, oh, 50.' Make the most of it."

White said she has been blessed with good health and "accentuates the positive." She keeps her mind sharp by playing poker and keeping up with her young co-stars. Though she is an octogenarian and pays attention to her balance so as not to fall, she said she still lives in a two-story house and manages the stairs.

"I try to keep current in what's going on in the world. I do mental exercises,” she said. "I don't have any trouble memorizing lines because of the crossword puzzles I do every day to keep my mind a little limber. I don't sit and vegetate."

White, who has no children, was married twice before she found happiness in her 19-year marriage to Allen Ludden, the host of television's Password. He died of stomach cancer in 1981, and she has never remarried.

She confesses she only joined AARP in January. Getting older has its perks, according to White.

"You get a license to steal, being old," she said. "They spoil you rotten and take good care of you. When I am standing waiting for a cue, I turn around and someone pulls a chair behind me -- whether I want it or not. I love the perspective it gives you."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


AARP, Consumer Reports Health Launch Online Prescription Drug Comparison Tool

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- AARP and Consumer Reports Health teamed up Tuesday for the launch of a new online tool for drug comparison.  The AARP Drug Savings Tool, meant to ease the prescription drug decision-making process, allows users to compare the effectiveness, price and safety of drugs listed in the Consumer Reports Health database of about 500 drugs in 26 different drug classes.

“We know that consumers want trustworthy, independent information on prescription drugs so they can make informed decisions about what is best for their health and the health of their family,” said Cheryl Matheis, AARP senior vice president for health strategy. “This tool will be especially valuable to our membership and will help all users better manage their prescriptions.”

The site also provides users with online guides to facilitate conversation with their health care providers related to various prescription drug topics.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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