Susan Reinhard

Susan Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, is a senior vice president at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute, the focal point for AARP's public policy research and analysis. She also serves as the chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, a resource center to ensure the nation has the nurses it needs. Read her full biography.
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Today 20 million family caregivers regularly perform complex medical and nursing tasks for family members or friends, often with little to no instruction. A new series of "how-to" videos can help.
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Now in its second year, AARP’s Healthy Living initiative has launched programs to equip people ages 50+ with information and tools they can use to help them manage changes that come with age.
Older patient talking with nurse in hospital
It has been awhile since I’ve been asked why AARP has a center devoted to nursing. Maybe that is because it’s been a part of AARP long enough that by now people know. After all, it has been 12 years since the Center to Champion Nursing in America began its mission to see that people—all people—have access to a nurse when and where they need it.
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When AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI) conducted its Home Alone study in 2012, the outcome was the first national look at the evolving experience of family caregivers—who are being asked to perform more complex medical/nursing tasks than ever before, who experience a high degree of stress in their role, and who historically have not even been considered part of the health care team. Complex tasks run the gamut from administering many medications, including injections, to changing dressings and handling medical equipment. This is essentially “skilled nursing care”—the skills I chose to learn to do as a nursing student. It is also what I taught family members, neighbors and friends when I was a visiting nurse. This 2012 study was an exploration of how many caregivers are performing these tasks, how they learn to do them and how they are reacting to these responsibilities. We learned much.
Policy Plus Action is a new, monthly newsletter from the AARP Public Policy Institute that highlights events, news, and features on issues that matter to older adults.
Medicare Advantage—the private plans that cover one-third of Medicare beneficiaries—has new flexibility to offer more supplemental benefits. Importantly, among those benefits are services and supports for family caregivers.
2020, Two Thousand Twenty
All Americans deserve a high-performing system of long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older individuals and those with disabilities, one that ensures access to affordable, high-quality services that are person- and family-centered.  Services and supports should be delivered from the perspective of the individuals receiving care, and, when appropriate and necessary, their families.
Connecting at home in her retirement
From creating a trailblazing initiative that trains bank employees to identify and report suspected financial exploitation, to shining the light on the detrimental health effects and high costs of social isolation, AARP’s Public Policy Institute kept a frenetic pace in 2018, underscoring its identity as a leading “think-and-do” tank. Throughout the year, PPI researched, crunched data and analyzed critical policy issues facing older adults and presented solutions and findings here.
An ethnic senior woman smiles while kayaking with her husband
Information and advice on living more healthy lives, it seems, is everywhere. It’s on every platform, digital and traditional—online and print, videos and books, webinars and live seminars, network news and online features.
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Taking steps to live a healthier life is very important to millions of consumers, but many don’t know where to turn or how to engage.
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