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Grants available to help communities become more livable (Photo) - 04/03/18

Spring is the season to spruce up our yards and homes  - now we can spruce up our neighborhoods or towns by applying for an AARP Community Challenge grant. AARP invites applications for quick-action projects that can help YOUR community become more livable. Applications are now being accepted for small grants to improve housing, transportation, public space and other community elements that support great places for all people of all ages.

The goal of these mini grants are to fund quick projects in areas for transportation, public spaces or walking  that can spark change and build momentum to make the community more livable for people of all ages.

Examples of winners from the 88 2017 winners included better signage at pedestrian crossing, adding chess tables and benches in a park or improving bus ridership. In Oregon, the grantees included

  • EugeneSquareOne Villages | Housing Options
    Funds were used for construction materials to complete an ADA-compliant tiny home in Emerald Village Eugene, an affordable housing community of 22 tiny houses.
     
  • Port OrfordPort Orford Street Revitalization Association | Walkability
    Grant monies enabled the purchase and placement of benches that have attached planters, thus beautifying walking paths and providing pedestrians with a place to sit.

For more information or to apply, go to https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/about/info-2017/aarp-community-challenge.html

Older LGBT adults worry about discrimination in long-term care facilities - 03/30/18

Clackamas, OR —When it comes to aging-related concerns, older LGBT adults worry most about having adequate family and other social support to rely on as they age, discrimination in long-term care (LTC) facilities, and access to LGBT-sensitive services for seniors, according to a new AARP survey.

Black and Latino LGBT adults report the greatest concern about future family and social supports, and greater worry about potential abuse in LTC facilities because of their race/ethnicity and sexual orientation/gender identity.

The survey, “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans,” found gay men and lesbians have similar concerns about whether they’ll have enough family and/or social support. However, gay men are more likely than lesbians to be single, live alone, and have smaller support systems, which may put them at higher risk for isolation as they age. Transgender adults also report smaller support systems and are at an increased risk of isolation, while bisexuals are least likely to be “out” within health systems.

“What the AARP study confirms is that LGBT adults are underserved and often lack strong social support networks,” said Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, a member of the AARP Oregon Diversity Advisory Committee. “I have seen, however, that when LGBT adults are in a safe space where they feel accepted for who they are they thrive and grow their support networks quickly and with ease. AARP's study should be required reading for Area Agency on Aging office and Long Term care providers.”

Over half (52 percent) of LGBT adults said they fear discrimination in health care as they age. A majority are especially concerned about facing neglect, abuse, and verbal or physical harassment in LTC facilities, with Black LGBT adults reporting the highest level of concern.

Most LGBT adults (88 percent) want providers in LTC facilities who are specifically trained to meet LGBT patient needs. They also want some providers or staff who are themselves LGBT.

Nearly one-third of older LGBT adults were at least somewhat worried about having to hide their LGBT identity in order to have access to suitable housing options.

“With well over a million LGBT seniors in the US, a number that will double by 2030, this is an opportunity for the health care and housing industries to step up and meet the needs of this growing demographic that aspires to thrive not hide as they age” said Quartey.

Full survey results are here: www.aarp.org/dignitysurvey

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AARP Oregon Helps Taxpayers Avoid IRS Imposter and Related Scams - New Poll Finds 1 in 4 Americans Often Not Prepared to Face Aggressive Scammers (Photo) - 03/28/18

Clackamas – As tax time approaches, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Oregon are joining in efforts to help Oregon taxpayers avoid criminal imposters who aim to defraud them.  The problem is serious, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting that tax fraud ranked second in 2017 in types of identity theft reported, as over 82,000 reports were made last year.  But a new poll from AARP, which surveyed 1,005 Americans by phone, reveals that people may have a false sense of security, as three-fifths (62 percent) report they’re either extremely confident or very confident in their ability to detect fraud.

 

AARP's  antifraud efforts currently include a free fraud helpline (877-908-3360) and online resources  including the survey, training webinars, a “Tax ID Theft” tip sheet, and a new podcast series, called “The Perfect Scam.”  The series features tips from Frank Abagnale, whose personal story inspired the Spielberg film, “Catch Me if You Can,” who now advises the FBI on how to outsmart con artists. Also, the April issue of AARP Bulletin will more broadly examine fraud and scams.

 

“We see repeatedly that scammers who impersonate the Internal Revenue Service work year round at trying to swindle Americans, and they’re particularly relentless in April,” said Carmel Perez Snyder of AARP Oregon. “While there’s no simple solution, you can outsmart cons: file your taxes early, before they beat you to it, shred financial documents you no longer need and beware of high pressure tactics. The IRS will not call and threaten arrest for taxes owed, and they certainly won’t ask for a gift card as a form of payment, but imposters will.”

 

In its new poll, AARP found that many consumers are woefully at risk for the onslaught of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scammers. Key findings include:

  • IRS scammers keep calling until they land victims, with one in four respondents (25 percent) receiving a phony call from someone impersonating an IRS agent over the last year.
  • Nearly four out of five respondents (79 percent) haven’t ordered a free copy of their credit report in the past 12 months.
  • The IRS does not email or text for your information, but more than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) incorrectly believe or are uncertain about whether the IRS can text or email requests for personal or financial information.

Criminals impersonating the IRS often make aggressive threats – of arrest, court action, confiscation of property, or even deportation unless they make immediate payment.  The AARP campaign advises consumers that legitimate IRS representatives do not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment.
  • Call you about taxes owed without first having contacted you by mail.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a gift card, prepaid debit card, or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

 

For more information about the IRS scam and other tax-related frauds, visit www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork. Consumers who think that they are being targeted by a scammer may call the AARP Fraud Helpline at 877-908-3360 and speak with a volunteer trained in fraud counseling.

“The Perfect Scam” podcast will launch on April 6 and will be available AARP’s website and on popular podcasting platforms.

About our survey methodology: AARP conducted a national telephone research study among U.S. adults ages 18 and older on the issues of identity theft, security of personal information, and experience with tax fraud and imposter scams via Alan Newman Research. 1,005 telephone interviews (300 via landline telephones and 705 via cell phone) took place between March 14 and March 17, 2018, with a maximum statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. 

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, and 510,000 in Oregon AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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Age Friendly by Design (Photo) - 03/27/18

AARP Oregon is holding a listening tour across Oregon to hear what people love about their communities and what would make them more age-friendly and will be in Medford April 7 at the Jackson County Library, 205 S. Central Avenue. The event is free and includes lunch, but pre registration is required. To sign up go to http://aarp.cvent.com/MedfordAgeFriendly2018

Bandana Shrestha, director of community engagement for AARP Oregon, says they'll be in cities big, small and in between to get a wide variety of opinions on what works for people 50 and older and what else they might need.

"We're to hear from people about what kind of needs they have, how they get around where they live, what kind of housing they might need, what kind of transportation systems and services would be helpful," she explains.

Additionally, AARP is sharing information about the AARP Community Challenge grant -- a mini grant to help spark innovative solutions to improve livability. Two Oregon communities won grants last year. For more information on how to apply, visit https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/

AARP is sharing best practices with communities within Oregon and around the nation with some key resources available for free at https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/

According to Elaine Friesen-Strang, the volunteer state president for AARP Oregon, "Cities should be planning now for a larger percentage of older adults." Demographers expect that adults over 60 will comprise more than 20 percent of the population by 2030.
"Some people call it a Silver Tsunami, but we like the term Silver Reservoir (coined by Jeanette Leardi) better. Older adults bring with them financial assets, a lifetime of experience and wisdom and a desire to engage in the community in a meaningful way. We see older adults as assets" Friesen-Strang said.

A Livable Community features:
* Housing choices that are suitable for people of all ages and life stages
* Reduced automobile dependence and supports socially vibrant public spaces
* Integrates land uses so people can live closer to amenities, jobs and community services
* Has transportation options

AARP will visit 12 cities for the tour including in Bend, Coos Bay, Pendleton and Portland. Shrestha says cities can learn a lot from each other when it comes to age-friendliness. For instance, AARP learned about an affordable housing initiative in Milwaukie that was able to help Medford in its current housing crisis.

Shrestha says AARP will report back to the communities what it discovers on the tour, and inform Oregon's leaders as well.

"We hope to share it with policymakers, decision makers, and community leaders across the state so that we can get a greater commitment from our leaders about the kind of policies and practices that would help communities to become more age-friendly and livable for people 50-plus," she says.

AARP will share its findings with the Governor's Commission on Senior Services and local community leaders.

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AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members nationwide and 510,000 members in Oregon, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit aarp.org/or or find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/AARPOregon/

Detailed information on AARP Challenge Grant can be found here: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/about/info-2017/aarp-community-challenge.html