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.

For Richer or Poorer; A Family Caregiver’s Journey

We vow ‘in sickness and in health,’ and ‘for richer or poorer,’ hoping to never experience illnesses or financial difficulties. When tragedy strikes, spouses are often left battling both; taking on the huge responsibilities of caring for their husbands or wives’ needs, and managing their health and recovery.Yvette and Walter from North Carolina live this struggle. After Walt’s stroke 2 years ago, Yvette has, “as caregiver and wife learned to manage…medical appointments, lawn care, repairs and finances,” all while continuing …

4 Reasons to Watch State Legislatures in 2018

Simmering issues important to all older Americans and their families, like health and financial security, may escalate to a full boil in many state Capitols in 2018.Facing these challenges and opportunities head-on, AARP is already exhaustively at work throughout the country, fighting for the issues that matter and driving an innovative agenda focused on commonsense solutions without the clutter of partisanship.Last year, AARP State Offices achieved huge successes, including new supports for family caregivers, greater access to home and community …

State Guardianship Systems Require Expedited Reform

Recent news articles spotlight egregious acts conducted by court-appointed guardians against the older individuals entrusted in their care. These reports highlight some of the worst situations occurring within a system that requires expedited improvement, now. AARP has long fought for state laws to protect older individuals—and their assets—from abuse, and to make sure guardians—public, private, and family caregivers—have the information they need to do their job. Over the past 4 years alone, AARP State Offices across the country have supported …

Thank You, Nurses!

During National Nurses Week, I am making a special effort to say “thank you” to all the nurses in my life, and I invite you to do the same. Each and every day, in communities across the country, nurses help their patients to get and stay well. They use their incredible skills to comfort us in difficult times and care for us when we’re at our most vulnerable. For America’s 40 million family caregivers, nurses often become even more heroic …

AARP Public Pension Guide Breaks Down Complex Issue for Elected Officials

My pop was a bus driver for 25 years.  Once he reached retirement, I would have loved Mom and Pop to relocate to D.C. to live with me. But they loved their life and community and wanted to age in their own home — just like millions of Americans. Luckily, Pop had a public pension, which gave him and my mom the financial security they needed to retire with confidence and dignity — and to keep living independently in their …

AARP Volunteers Are Fighting for You

During National Volunteer Week I’d like to stop and say thank you. Thank you to the thousands of AARP volunteers who are fighting for families as part of our multistate advocacy campaigns across every state, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  By giving your time and energy to advocate for the 50-plus and their families, you’ve helped to: Pass bills in nearly every state to support millions of family caregivers and the older parents, spouses and other loved …