AARP Advocacy

Family Caregivers at Work

Posted on 06/30/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsThrough 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?

Posted on 06/23/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsMy 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 …

States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

Posted on 06/16/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Politics“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Sometimes Family Caregivers Need a Break

Posted on 06/9/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsEvery day for eight years, my Pop provided hands-on care for my mom, who faced a number of physical challenges.  At age 90, Pop was still helping Mom out of bed into her wheelchair, bathing and dressing her, making the meals, and doing the dishes, laundry and anything else that needed to be done. A few times a week, Pop would get out of the house for a trip to the grocery store and a few staples like bread, milk …

Pensions Are Promises. States Need to Keep Up Their End of the Deal

Posted on 06/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsMy Pop, a bus driver in Buffalo, worked until the mandatory retirement age of 70. He and my Mom lived on Social Security along with his modest pension. One Christmas, Pop couldn’t get into the spirit of the season. The next day, he confided that the next year health care premium increases would consume his entire pension check, and then some. I can only imagine how my parents’ lives would have been affected if Pop’s pension had been cut in …

Don’t Hang Up on Landlines Just Yet

Posted on 05/27/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAs a family caregiver to Mom and Pop for many years, I know reliable technology can mean the difference between life and tragedy. Yet, in states across the country, phone companies that provide landline service are trying to force residents to switch to a new wireless phone option — one that does not work with many medical monitoring devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators, home security systems, and sometimes even 911. In New Jersey, for example, the phone company doesn’t want …