The Claremont Area AARP Chapter met Nov. 14 at the Earl Bourdon Centre and heard Tom Simmons talk about the importance of the upcoming mandated U.S. Census. Done every 10 years and required by the constitution, it decides how $675 billion dollars appropriated and apportioned to states is divided to programs such as Meals on Wheels, ambulance reimbursement, Medicare Part B, housing rehabilitation, women/infant/children programs to name a few of the 65 programs who share the funding. The census also decides how many representatives will be apportioned to each state. It is a huge undertaking employing 500,000 people.

Roll out begins in mid-March with every house getting a notice addressed to Occupant. Do not throw it out! This is not the actual census. One week later the census will arrive by mail with directions to go online or by phone to complete it. If there is no response, a third notice will arrive by mail the first week of April. There are only nine questions on the census.

Some questions he answered: temporary residents should be mentioned, seniors are best responders, single male seniors are worst responders, seniors are afraid of responding by computer, children 0-5 are most undercounted, landlords should tell their renters to respond, and homeless will be counted by staff. Staff will be identified by photo badges and census information will not be shared. A census taker will only come to a house if the census is not completed by third notice in April.

Door prize winners were Bev McGuire, Bob Bruzik, Judy White and Chris McElreavy. The chapter's next meeting is the Christmas party Dec. 12 at noon at the Imperial Chinese Buffet on Washington Street, Claremont. Ask for a senior discount when paying. There will be a Yankee Swap of $10 new gifts, entertainment and a surprise visitor.

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