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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

Financial Pain Points for Older Consumers: A Look at the CFPB Complaint Database

Ten years after its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) complaint database serves as a powerful tool for individuals to file complaints about a financial product or service, to see that their voices are heard, and in some cases to obtain relief. This report examines complaints filed with the CFPB from individuals self-reporting as older adults, largely focused on the time period from January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021. 

Supplemental Security Income: Continuity and Change since 1974

This brief describes how the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program works, and the demographic and economic characteristics of beneficiaries of SSI (generally prior to the pandemic as enrollment has declined during the pandemic, likely due to field office closings). It includes a discussion of state programs that supplement federal SSI, explores reasons some eligible people do not participate in SSI, and previews some changes to the program currently under discussion. 

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.

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Livability Index

How livable is your community?

Health Security

Home and Community-Based Services for Older Adults

In light of COVID-19’s devastating impact on nursing homes and other institutional care settings, more and more older adults with long-term care needs and their families are interested in home and community-based care options. This new AARP primer provides the latest data and information on HCBS, including what it encompasses, who the users and providers are, how it is financed, and several delivery models and policy solutions that states could expand to improve and expand access to these services. 

Rural–Urban Health Disparities among US Adults Ages 50 and Older

This AARP fact sheet analyzes indicators of health care access, health-related behaviors, and health conditions among the 50 and older age group living in rural and urban areas. The analysis also explores racial and ethnic differences in health among older adults living in rural and urban areas to assess whether health disparities by racial and ethnicity are exacerbated by residence in a rural area.

An Opportunity to Improve Nursing Facility Immunization Programs

This paper examines the pre-pandemic immunization environment in nursing facilities, explores how facilities administered immunization during different periods of the pandemic, and highlights issues that states and facilities should consider as they evaluate whether and how their immunization programs can be modified or improved. 

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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

LTSS Choices: Home and Community-Based Services for Older Adults

This fact sheet serves as a primer on the current state of home and community-based long-term services and supports for older adults and highlights successful models for expanding these services.

LTSS Choices: The Role of Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This report examines the role played by Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) delivering Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) during the pandemic, including some of the “on-the-ground” experiences of MCOs and other stakeholders as the crisis unfolded. We explore the challenges states and MCOs faced, efforts to meet the needs of recipients of MLTSS, and lessons learned.

LTSS Choices: International Review of Innovations to Protect Nursing Home Residents from Infectious Diseases such as COVID-19

This report reviews the international community’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes, focusing on the experiences of some countries that have had relatively few deaths in their residential care facilities: how they prepare for pandemics in general, how they responded to the pandemic and how their long-term care infrastructure improved outcomes. It also covers international experts’ recommendations for improving how nursing homes and assisted living facilities respond to infectious disease.

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Family Caregiving

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.

Managing a Paid Job and Family Caregiving is a Growing Reality

The 2020 Caregiving in the U.S. report revealed an increase of more than 5 million employed family caregivers since 2015. This report takes a deeper look into the Caregiving in the US data at the nearly 30 million Americans who are caring for an ill friend or family member while also working at a paying job. It highlights the impacts and challenges of managing both responsibilities, and it identifies what’s changed since 2015.

Caregiving in the United States 2020

First conducted in 1997 by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 update presents a portrait of unpaid family caregivers. Family caregivers now encompass more than one in five Americans. The study also reveals that family caregivers are in worse health compared to five years ago. 

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Livable Communities

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.

Which Older Adults Have Access to America's Most Livable Neighborhoods? An Analysis of AARP's Livability Index

This report combines what the Livability Index tells us about neighborhoods with what the American Community Survey tells us about who lives there. 

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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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