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.

AARP Is Fighting to Protect State Flexibility on Retirement Plans

Innovative state solutions to America’s savings crisis are in danger. Federal overreach threatens an important Department of Labor rule that gives states flexibility to help workers save for retirement. Fifty-five million workers in America have no way to save for retirement out of their regular paychecks. Their employers don’t offer a retirement plan because it can be costly and complicated to do so. The problem is especially severe among communities of color. Only 54 percent of African American and Asian …

Lifesaving Wedding Bands: A Family Caregiver Love Story

When Elaine and Tommy were married, they vowed “in sickness and health” — a promise that over a decade later would require a lifesaving addition to their matching wedding bands. Elaine shares their story: In 1998, when Tommy and I got married, we went to Service Merchandise to buy matching gold wedding bands. It was the second marriage for both of us; we were in our 60s. I think we paid $25 for each. Fancy gems weren’t important to us …

AARP Is Fighting for YOU in Your State

This year, as state legislators are going to work across the country, so are we. In addition to fighting on Capitol Hill to keep Medicare and Social Security strong, AARP will be making sure your voice is heard at state capitols across the country — on issues like support for family caregivers and their loved ones, retirement security, and ensuring that your utility bill is reasonable and justified. Supporting caregiving families About 40 million family caregivers in the United States …

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 …