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.

Let’s Give Small-Business Owners a Competitive Edge

“People give their time to their job. They shouldn’t have to fear what happens when they’re done working.”  — Molly Sumner of Kindred Companions Molly Sumner of Frenchtown, N.J., owns a small business called Kindred Companions, training dogs and selling pet supplies.  Unfortunately, Molly’s employees are some of the nearly 2 million New Jerseyans — and 55 million Americans — who don’t have a retirement savings plan through work. “It’s something I want for my employees,” Molly says, but not …

This Year, I’m Thankful for Family Caregivers

Nancy was caring for her mother and husband, raising four children, and working full time when she ended up in the hospital, suffering from exhaustion. It was then that she realized that she couldn’t help her loved ones unless she also took care of herself. Like Nancy, many family caregivers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to helping their older parents, spouses and other loved ones, they work full or part time, raise children …

Caring for Our Veterans

My Pop, who served in the Navy during World War II, was fond of sharing stories of his military years, and they always started out with the phrase, “When I was in the service of my country, fighting for mankind….” It reminded his children and grandchildren of the magnitude of the war and the sacrifice millions made. Last week, as we took time to thank and recognize veterans like Pop, I also thought about all the family caregivers who help …

Are You a Family Caregiver? Find Help Here

When caring for Mom and Pop, my siblings and I struggled to find someone who could provide home care for our parents when we couldn’t. We wanted a person who was kind and caring, but we also wanted someone who was licensed, bonded and insured, with no criminal record of fraud or abuse. This was the most difficult part of our caregiving journey, and I know millions of family caregivers are now facing the same challenge. The fight to live …

AARP Recognized by Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Throughout my work to support family caregivers across the states, and my own caregiving journey, first lady Rosalynn Carter has been an inspiration. She is not only a leader in caregiving advocacy, education, research and support, but knows firsthand the joys and challenges of caregiving. Mrs. Carter first became a family caregiver at age 12 when her father was diagnosed with terminal leukemia, and went on to care for other family members over the years. Today she stands as a …

The Three R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and…Retirement?

Crisp autumn air reminds me of my elementary school days in Upstate NY – and of my Mom’s hard work and dedication. My Mom worked the “vampire shift” at Tommy Tucker bakery – injecting doughnuts with jelly from 9 at night to 5 in the morning.  She’d arrive back at home in time to wake my brother, sister and me, cook a hot breakfast and send us off to school.  And, every Friday on her pay day, she’d take us …