A Family Caregiver Thanksgiving Story: In Rehab

My pop was fond of responding to any “How are you?” inquiry like this: “I’ve never been better in my life!” My mom shared her wisdom when sending me off to grade school: “Elaine, never let anyone think you aren’t having the best day of your life!” I was raised with the power of positive thinking. And through the years, I was consistently inspired by the spirit, humor and resilience my parents demonstrated throughout a lifetime of challenges. One time, …

Small-Business Owners Agree: Secure Choice Is Right for Illinois

I want to bring your attention to something happening right now in Illinois that could give small businesses a competitive edge and help millions of Illinois workers have a secure financial future — but time is running out. Only five days remain for the state House of Representatives to pass the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program and give over 2 million Illinoisans a pathway to a more secure retirement. We can’t let this opportunity slip away. Let me share the …

Supporting Veterans and Family Caregivers at Home

BREAKING UPDATE 11/14/14: The CARE Act was signed into law in New Jersey on Nov. 13th, 2014 and will take effect  May 12th, 2015.   Several months ago,  I met Doug and Michelle Mercer of McAlester, Okla. Doug had been home from Iraq for only four days when he suffered debilitating injuries in a serious motorcycle accident. Three and a half years later, he is still recovering brain function, he uses a wheelchair and he needs help 24/7. >> Sign up for …

I Heart Caregivers

As we enter National Family Caregivers Month, I think back to the time I spent as a caregiver to my mom.  For 12 years I was by her side, through diabetes, congestive heart failure, hospitalizations and more — all while juggling my job and raising my kids. It wasn’t always easy, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My experience is just one of the countless untold stories from family caregivers across the country. Today, more than 42 …

The Who, What, When, Where of Voting

On November 4th, like millions of Americans, I’ll head to the polls to cast my ballot. I’ve done my homework, know where the candidates stand on important issues — like financial security and support for family caregivers — and I’m ready to vote. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter But even though I’ve been voting for years, I still need to check some basic facts: When do I vote? The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, …

When Mom’s a Republican and Pop’s a Democrat

My mom was born in the same year that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution — giving women the right to vote — was ratified. She was a daughter of immigrant parents, who came to America in pursuit of freedom and opportunity. And my mom relished her right to vote. I have very early memories of walking with my mom, pop, brother and sister blocks to our polling place located at Outwater Park. It was a family tradition. I remember …