Elaine Ryan is the vice president of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in AARP's Government Affairs group. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with Governors and state legislators, helping people 50+ attain and maintain their long-term financial security and health.

Follow Elaine on Twitter: @RoamTheDomes.

A Family Caregiver Holiday Story: From Practical Joke to Empowerment

For family caregivers, the holidays can be a time of added stress and chaos, but they can also be a time of joy — and humor. Catherine, a family caregiver for her sister Lisa, shares: “Lisa, my little sister, has severe cerebral palsy. She has no verbal communication skills and is total-care (wheelchair and hospital bed bound). She loves the holidays more than anyone I know. As a teenager, I would take her shopping at Christmas time and help her …

Bread, Milk, Butter and Eggs: A Thanksgiving Family Caregiving Story

Every Thanksgiving holiday I’d travel home to cook dinner for my Mom and Pop and our extended family. One year, I opened the refrigerator door to see the shelves filled with bread, milk, butter and eggs and I knew Pop had been out shopping again. Pop was Mom’s caregiver for more than a decade. Each morning he’d make her breakfast and get her ready for the day. And, after a day of television and conversation, he’d get her ready for …

Family Caregiving: The Hardest Thing I Ever Had To Do

“Taking care of my mother with Alzheimer’s was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. When I was in the U.S Navy, I had the 2nd most dangerous job in the world by working the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Yes, it was harder than that.” – Ray A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—Families Caring for an Aging America—examines existing support for family caregivers like Ray, and recommends ways …

Landmark State Law Will Help Millions Retire With Confidence

Great news out of California: A new state law will help nearly 7.5 million workers retire with confidence. Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday morning, the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Act (Senate Bill 1234) will give millions of Californians a way to save for their future at work. It has been a long road to get to this day, and the AARP California Office has been a key leader every step of the way! California state Sen. Kevin …

Family Caregiving: A Great Labor of Love

I want to take a minute to recognize the 40 million Americans who perform a great labor of love every day: family caregivers. Thanks to their tireless efforts, parents, spouses, and other loved ones are able to remain at home — where they want to be. Day after day, these unsung heroes take on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting. In addition to this labor of love, many juggle full or part-time jobs — like Gayle, Nacy …

Caregiving Across State Lines: 45+ States Pass Law to Help

Imagine you care for your 90-year-old mother with dementia. She lives with you in your Georgia home. You help her with bathing and dressing, drive her to the doctor, cook her meals, manage her medications and do anything else she needs. Last year you were appointed her legal guardian by the state of Georgia to help manage her finances and make decisions for her about health care and more. Your mother needs a special heart procedure, only available in a …