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.

Fighting for Family Caregivers

At 40 million strong, family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, helping parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home — where they want to be. The unpaid care they provide, valued at about $470 billion annually, can often be a 24/7 commitment. They take on tasks that can be stressful, exhausting and overwhelming. Many also juggle full- or part-time jobs, and some are still raising their families. As family caregivers face physical, emotional and financial …

Celebrating Our Independence

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our country’s independence, I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of our heroes. In particular, the veterans who fought for our safety and freedom, and the family caregivers who now help them remain independent in their homes and communities — where they want to be. Out of the about 40 million Americans who care for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, 5.5 million care for our veterans so they …

Nearly 1 Million More Workers Can Save for Retirement … Millions More to Go!

May is proving to be a historic month for both workers and employers across the country! Since I last wrote on this topic in February, we at AARP have continued to fight hard to establish Work and Save plans in the states, a convenient way for millions of workers to save for retirement through an easy payroll deduction. And we have great news to report! Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) took a monumental step toward helping to ensure a …

Family Caregivers Say ‘Thank You, Nurses’

During National Nurses Week (May 6–12, 2016), we celebrate nurses. I say, let’s celebrate nurses every day! Across the country, these hardworking professionals help us get and stay well, and provide comfort and care when we’re at our most vulnerable. In my experience, they do this with incredible skill as well as a smile. When caring for my mom and pop, nurses were lifesavers for my parents and me. One in particular, Nurse Sue, became more like a member of …

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 …