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.

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 …

Help! My Loved One Can No Longer Manage Her Finances

Jennifer had recently relocated to Wisconsin. When she went home to visit Grandma Jeanne and Grandpa Bill, she realized things were bad. “There was an overdue bill on the counter, fruit flies in the kitchen, decaying boxes full of carryout in the fridge, and my grandpa, who had always been overweight, was looking downright thin. I was shocked,” Jennifer shared on AARP’s I Heart Caregivers. Photos: A week in the life of a family caregiver » “Long story short my grandma …

Can Your Nurse Prescribe Medication?

As many family caregivers know, getting our parents, spouses or other loved ones from one place to another can sometimes be a challenge, especially if they have impaired mobility. When I was caring for my parents, taking Mom — who was confined to a wheelchair — to see the doctor was an all-day ordeal, even though his office was only a short distance away. We had to wait for the special transport van to come, wait at the doctor’s, and …