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The AARP Public Policy Institute's nonpartisan policy analysis focuses on issues of critical importance to older Americans and draws on the work of experts across the ideological spectrum.

Financial Security

The Scope of Elder Financial Exploitation: What It Costs Victims

This report, using a first-of-its-kind methodology to measure the annual financial cost of elder financial exploitation (EFE) in the United States, finds that victims over age 60 lose $28.3 billion each year.

US Small Business Employment and Older Workers

This paper provides details on older workers’ prominent position in what remains a key driver of the labor force and overall economy: small businesses.

Monthly Employment Data Digest

The latest monthly digest of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the findings from the Employment Situation Report. It takes a closer look at employment data for people ages 55 and over, including labor force participation, employment rates, and duration of unemployment.

2022 Social Security Quick Fact Sheets

This set of fact sheets spotlights the importance of Social Security, highlighting the different categories of beneficiaries, their average benefit levels, and the importance of these benefits as a vital source of retirement income and poverty alleviation. Data are also provided outlining Social Security's impact on state economies.

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Health Security

Trends in Retail Prices of Generic Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2006 to 2020

The findings of this report highlight the pricing dynamics in the generic drug market when compared with those in the brand name drug market. 

Prices for Top Medicare Part D Drugs Have More Than Tripled Since Entering the Market

This Spotlight report finds that list prices for 25 top Medicare Part D drugs have increased by an average of 226 percent—or more than tripled—since they first entered the market, greatly exceeding the corresponding rate of general inflation.

9.4 Million Adults Ages 50 and Older Faced Food Insecurity in 2021

Over 9 million Americans ages 50 and older (about eight percent) were food insecure in 2021, meaning they had limited or uncertain access to adequate, nutritious food. 

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Remain in Health Insurance Coverage Among Adults Ages 50 to 64

This report includes national data on racial and ethnic disparities in coverage and access among older adults, from 2012 (two years prior to the implementation of the ACA) through 2021, the eighth full year of Marketplace operations.

Medication Literacy Series: Medication Management

This Fact Sheet explores the range of formal medication management programs that are available and the challenges that older adults, especially those with limited medication literacy and their family caregivers face when trying to manage their medications.

Medicaid in Midlife: A Profile of Enrollees Ages 50 to 64

This fact sheet analyzes the most recent reliable Medicaid enrollment subpopulation data and establishes a profile of midlife Medicaid enrollees. 

Improving SNAP Uptake Among Eligible Older Adults: Federal Policy Options to Simplify and Streamline Administrative Processes

This paper proposes four federal policy options that build on documented successful efforts to improve SNAP access and participation among eligible older adults.

Health Care Coverage, Affordability, and Access Among Rural and Urban Adults Ages 50 to 64

This analysis examines rural–urban differences in health care coverage, affordability, and access over time from 2012, two years prior to implementation of the ACA, through 2019, the sixth full year of ACA Marketplace operations.

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Susan Reinhard is senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute. Read her latest blogs on family caregiving, healthy living, nursing and more. Read Susan's Blogs

Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard

A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers

Independent Living/Long-Term Services and Support

Advancing Racial and Ethnic Equity in Long-Term Services and Supports

This issue brief highlights research on inequities in LTSS related to the Scorecard’s five domains. This paper further outlines potential data sources to assess these inequities and discusses implications for how AARP plans to address these inequities through the Scorecard.

Expanding ADU Development and Occupancy: Solutions for Removing Local Barriers to ADU Construction

This guide is intended to help community leaders, planners, and housing practitioners and advocates identify and overcome specific challenges that limit the local supply and legal occupancy of ADUs.

Valuing the Invaluable 2023 Update: Strengthening Supports for Family Caregivers

This report pulls from multiple sources to profile who family caregivers are and the challenges they face and includes several first-person accounts of the experience.

CAPABLE: A Model of Empowering Older Adults to Remain Independent

This paper highlights the Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) model, designed to keep older adults in the community and to improve their ability to remain independent. 

LTSS Choices: From Ideation to Standard Practice: Scaling Innovations in Long-Term Services and Supports 

Five promising innovations currently in the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system are becoming more commonplace. This paper discusses these innovative programs and the diffusion of innovation, or scaling-up process, underlying them.

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Family Caregiving

Valuing the Invaluable 2023 Update: Strengthening Supports for Family Caregivers 

Family caregivers fill an essential role in our fractured long-term services and supports (LTSS) system. In 2021, the estimated economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid contributions was approximately $600 billion, based on about 38 million caregivers providing an average of 18 hours of care per week for a total of 36 billion hours of care, at an average value of $16.59 per hour.

Family Caregiver Considerations for the Future of Hospital at Home Programs 

The declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) accelerated an already burgeoning movement of health care into the home. An increasing number of health care systems are choosing to invest in homebased care in new and innovative ways, and consumers are using these services at unprecedented levels. The Hospital at Home (HaH) model shifts care into the home setting and delivers acute hospital-level care to eligible patients where they live instead of in a hospital. 

Caring Locally for Caregivers: How State and Local Laws Protect Family Caregivers from Discrimination at Work

Workplace discrimination against employees who care for adult family members, called Family Responsibilities Discrimination (FRD) or caregiver discrimination, is an escalating problem that can disadvantage employees and put employers at legal risk. This report details the ways in which state and local laws fill in the gaps left by federal law by prohibiting employment discrimination that occurs because of family caregiving.

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Livable Communities

Innovations in Rural Public Transportation: Data Standards Undergird Equity

This report explains how transportation systems built with open and universal data standards can allow rural residents to experience more seamless travel on public transportation without reliance on a personal automobile.

RideSheet: Rural Transportation Benefits from New Coordination Technology

This report offers a firsthand look at Lake County, Oregon’s experience using a new open-source software product called RideSheet to provide demand-responsive transportation. 

Older Adults, New Mobility, and Automated Vehicles

This report provides a framework for harnessing emerging technology for individual and societal benefits.

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Center to Champion Nursing in America

Transforming the Workforce to Provide Better Chronic Care

This series explores the evolution of primary care systems to better meet the needs of consumers with complex health conditions. It demonstrates that changes in the workforce are required to empower consumers to better manage their health.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Hospital Privileges

Granting hospital privileges to nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses reduces costs, increases consumer choice, and improves healthcare quality.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Home Health and Hospice Services

Allowing nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses to certify patients for Medicare coverage of home health services would increase access and efficiency.  

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