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.

Caring for Our Moms

As Mother’s Day approaches each year, I think of my mom and the incredible woman she was — full of love to give, a true commitment to family, and a great sense of humor. I couldn’t have been luckier to have been raised by such a strong, smart, hard-working role model. And I’m proud to have been there when my mom needed me most. For the last 10 years of her life, I was my mom’s family caregiver. I saw …

One Caregiver’s Regret: How the CARE Act Could Have Helped

In August of 2014, Mary’s mother Eartha was discharged from the hospital after a short stay — an event that would have lasting consequences. When Mary arrived at the hospital that day, Eartha was ready to go, dressed and sitting in a wheelchair with a list of medications on her lap.  Never given instructions on her mother’s new prescriptions, Mary missed out on a key piece of information — one of the medications was only meant to be given for …

Cómo se esfuerzan por ti los voluntarios de AARP

Esta semana está dedicada a reconocer y agradecer a todos los voluntarios de la nación. Y quisiera darles un reconocimiento especial a los miles de voluntarios de AARP que luchan por las familias, desde Nuevo Hampshire hasta Hawái.  Invierten hora tras hora de tiempo no remunerado y de energía en esfuerzos incansables para promover asuntos importantes que nos ayudan a todos nosotros, como por ejemplo: apoyan a los cuidadores familiares y a sus seres queridos mayores, quienes cuentan con ellos …

How AARP Volunteers Fight for You

This week is dedicated to recognizing and thanking volunteers across the country. And I would like to give a big shout-out to the thousands of AARP volunteers who are fighting for families from New Hampshire to Hawaii. They put in hours upon hours of unpaid time and energy in a tireless effort to advance important issues to help people like you and me, including: Supporting family caregivers and the older loved ones who count on them to stay at home …

Could Your Electric Bill Go Up Before You Flip a Switch?

Meet John, a 62-year-old disabled veteran and Maryland resident. Each month after he pays for medications, food, transportation and housing, there isn’t much money left over. What’s more, John’s utility bill is already $130 a month, but some legislators are trying to raise it even higher — even before he flips a single light switch. You see, many utility companies across the country are trying to increase their “customer charge” — the mandatory monthly fee that remains the same no …

Managing a Loved One’s Finances

Let me introduce you to a fellow family caregiver, Lisa. With the help of her sister, Lisa cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease — managing medications, cleaning the house, and handling any medical issues. They also managed her mother’s finances. Lisa shared: “It felt like our whole world was slowly falling apart. At the time we did not know much about the disease or how quickly it was going to debilitate her. My sister and I took responsibility of …