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.

Help for Family Caregivers

While traveling to Erie, Pa., for a town meeting on family caregiving, I was reflecting on my family roots. A little more than 100 years ago, my Lithuanian grandparents immigrated to America and made Shenandoah, Pa., their first hometown. My grandfather worked in the coal mines and my grandmother, fluent in six languages, worked various jobs while raising five children – one of whom was my mom. My grandparents taught me about hard work and perseverance, and my parents taught …

A Secure Retirement: American Dream or Pipe Dream?

I often hear from friends and family members that they’re afraid they don’t have enough saved for retirement, and the truth is, many Americans are not prepared for the future. As recently highlighted by the New York Times, the reason many are not financially prepared is because they don’t have the right tools at work to help them save for their future. In fact, when individuals have a way to save through their workplace, their rate of savings goes up …

Los cuidadores y sus derechos en el sector laboral

Con el pasar de los años, he tenido que ausentarme del trabajo para cuidar a mi mamá y a mi papá. Siempre he estado agradecida por haber trabajado para un empleador que me permitió tomarme licencia por enfermedad o trabajar desde la casa para cuidar a mis padres. Pero sé que he sido afortunada. Hoy en dí­a, millones de trabajadores estadounidenses no tienen licencia por enfermedad, con o sin paga. Si necesitan cuidar a sus seres queridos, pueden perder sus …

Do You Have a Voice at the Table When Utility Companies Try to Raise Your Rates?

Affordable and reliable utilities are essential for all of us. We rely on utilities to keep us warm in winter – and cool during summer heat waves – to cook our meals and keep the lights on in the dark. During severe weather and emergencies, our utilities become more important than ever – our lifelines to health and safety. Today, many Americans struggle with high utility bills. For seniors and others on fixed incomes especially, rate hikes and other cost …

Family Caregivers at Work

Through the years, I’ve had to take time off from work to care for my mom and pop. And I’ve always been grateful that I worked for an employer that allowed me to take sick leave or to telework in order to be there for my parents. But I know I’m one of the lucky ones. Today, millions of American workers have no paid or unpaid sick leave. Each day they face loss of pay – or loss of their jobs …

Supporting Seniors, Family Caregivers: Where Does Your State Rank?

My sister always says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  I was reminded of this adage when I heard Loren Colman, Minnesota assistant commissioner of continuing care, explain how Minnesota is consistently ranked at the top of the nation when it comes to providing support for seniors and their family caregivers. “We planned,” he said.  Indeed, Minnesota developed a plan decades ago to transform the way the state would deliver long-term care services to older residents in their …