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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Working to create connections, age-friendly communities in MS

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024   

May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize Mississippians over 50 and their contributions, and reaffirm commitments to serving older adults in their communities.

This year's theme, "Powered by Connection," emphasizes the importance of social connections for well-being.

Melinda Bertucci, advocacy director for AARP Mississippi, noted more than 660,000 Mississippians are age 60 or older, which is more than two in 10 of the state's residents. Her organization and its partners have created a robust volunteer program to help people stay connected.

"Age-Friendly Champions are retired volunteers that share their healthy aging experience with others, by promoting the importance of staying socially engaged and physically active," Bertucci explained. "They also encourage their communities to be age-friendly and promote intergenerational activities."

She pointed out AARP and the state health department also joined forces to offer resources like a home safety guide to help people identify and make fall-proofing modifications in their homes.

Bertucci added AARP and its partners are working to create Memory Cafés, where caregivers and loved ones with dementia can socialize with others in similar situations. They're also part of AARP's national effort to increase the number of age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities.

"The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, which really serves as a catalyst to educate local leaders -- both elected officials and engaged residents -- and encourage them to implement the types of changes that make communities more livable for people of all ages, especially older adults," Bertucci outlined.

So far, five cities in Mississippi have been designated as Age-Friendly Communities: Hernando, Holly Springs, Jackson, Picayune and Vicksburg.

Disclosure: AARP Mississippi contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Community Issues and Volunteering, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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