Whenever I chart a course - whether it be for a trip, scheduling my day or planning for the future - I am confident of two things. First, I need a map. Second, I must have tools on hand to avoid – or manage - pit falls on the way to my destination. But, when it comes to planning and saving for retirement, women experience a lot of obstacles that are nearly impossible to overcome.
A career in Washington, DC, means a lot of turnover, and so, at the tender age of 50, I was job hunting after leaving the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative towards the end of the Clinton Administration. Freshly polished resume in hand, I recall going through at least three different job interviews where the questioner probed for my age instead of focusing on my qualifications and experience. While I didn’t feel a need to hide how old I was – I certainly didn’t consider myself to be “old” – perhaps the interviewers were reacting to my head of white hair. Whatever their reason, it was disconcerting, to say the least.
Caroline, madre de dos y maestra de preescolar, se convirtió inesperadamente en cuidadora familiar de su padre después de que este sufrió un derrame cerebral grave. Su padre, Tom, ya fallecido, perdió el uso del lado derecho de su cuerpo y su capacidad de hablar. Tras múltiples cirugías y tratamientos de rehabilitación, pudo vivir en su hogar con la ayuda de enfermeras. Pero Caroline era quien le proveía los cuidados diarios, como supervisar las citas médicas y encargarse de ciertas responsabilidades de enfermería, como administrar sus medicamentos. "Me convertí en la persona en la que mi padre podía confiar más que nadie en el mundo", comentó Caroline. "Llegué a ser su lugar seguro y su mejor amiga". En comunidades de todo Estados Unidos, los cuidadores familiares como Caroline atienden a sus padres, cónyuges y otros seres queridos, ayudándolos para que puedan permanecer en sus hogares, donde quieren estar. Sus tareas no son fáciles, pero las realizan por amor y compromiso. Es por eso que AARP está luchando por los derechos de los cuidadores familiares, y de sus seres queridos, en todos los estados. En el 2018, AARP impulsó políticas nuevas para conseguir más ayuda en el hogar, flexibilidad en el lugar de empleo, capacitación, alivio y más, lo que beneficiará a más de 30 millones de cuidadores familiares. Estos son algunos de los puntos destacados:
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents. That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.
As another baseball season draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the incredible opportunity every at bat represents: three strikes means at least three chances to make it count before it’s back to the dugout. But imagine you were stepping up to the plate, and the ump said you already had three strikes against you. Whether anyone has told you that or not, there’s a good chance it’s true. Every day millions of women suit up, head to work, care for their families, and dream of a comfortable future, all while carrying three strikes against them.
With less than a month until Election Day, political campaigns are in high gear, and party control of Congress, Governor’s mansions and state houses are on the line. The landscape is volatile to say the least. But, one thing is certain . . . candidates who ignore older voters do so at their peril.
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