5.2 response


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Tracy Iversen

“AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole.” (AARP, n.d.) I chose the AARP because when my group was researching for our PowerPoint on the issue of burnout in caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s, this organization provided a lot of good information to use. This organization is an excellent resource for people that are 50 years of age and older. Porche (2019) stated, “AARP Public Policy Institute activities include program development, policy research, educational conferences, production of surveys, development of educational media and information to inform the public, and generation of policy reports.” (Porche, 2019, p. 350) AARP was created for retired teachers who could not find insurance that would cover them as older adults. Membership was, in time, opened to everyone 50 and older. “AARP is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through advocacy, service, and information” (AARP, n.d.)

            The community I work in has a high number of older adults. At 45 years old, I am also nearing the age where I will be able to be a member of AARP if I choose to. It is a wonderful organization that provides so much support and advocates for older and elderly adults. It provides information and discounts on insurance, travel, healthcare, restaurants, and many other things. It provides information and education on Medicare, health issues, caregiving, and much more.

            This organization is not without its controversies, though. AARP lobbies at the local, state, and federal levels on topics that affect older adults. There is also much controversy whether AARP has not turned to “the dark side” and worries more about profit than advocating and helping the older adult. Its non-for-profit status has been brought to question on many occasions. The organization supported Obamacare even though many members opposed it, and it is said that AARP financially gained from contracts with United Healthcare. This organization spends millions on lobbying and political advertising. Influencewatch.org stated, 

            Criticism has been leveled at the salaries earned by AARP leadership.According to AARP’s 2017 IRS annual return, Jenkins earned total compensation of $1,365,574. Including Jenkins, seven officers earned more than $500,000 per year and 14 earned more than $400,000 in 2017. 

            In conclusion, this organization has some good and bad points. I believe that it provides older adults with so much good, and it does advocate for the interest of this demographic group. I also, unfortunately, think that the almighty dollar may also sway them. When large sums of money are in play, it causes even the most virtuous to falter. 





Ashley Kelly 

According to Porche (2019), “policy institutes are organizations that engage in a variety of policy activities that impact the policymaking process, policy research, or policy evaluation.” (p. 349) 

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. It was initially identified as the National Retired Teacher Association designed to promote health insurance to retired teachers. After ten years as the NRTA, the AARP evolved and became available to all Americans over 50. (AARP, n.d.) This membership-based organization aims at improving the quality of life for its members at local, state, and national levels. This organization offers many benefits and resources, including life and health insurance, discounts, insurance products, learning resources, and travel-related services. According to the AARP website, their mission is to “empower people to choose how they live as they age.” (AARP, n.d.) 

Their Public Policy Institute activities include program development, policy research, educational conferences, production of surveys, development of educational media and information to inform the public, and generation of policy reports (Porche, 2019, p. 350). AARP has a strong political influence statewide and at the national level. The AARP is continuously working to influence political change for its more than 38 million members. With AARP receiving large sums of federal grants, being a strong force and one of the largest lobbying groups in the state capitals and Washington D. C., there are controversies over the organization exerting its influence throughout America. 

As nurse leaders, we will be caring for persons 50 years of age and above. With the numerous benefits that the AARP has for its members, it will be beneficial for me to be aware of these resources and identify my patients’ needs as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Nursing leaders must also stay knowledgeable on policy changes that will affect treatment and care for the patient and community. With AARP being one of the largest lobbying groups in America, it will benefit nurses to stay involved with this policy institute.

There are many other policy institutes that I feel politically influence policymaking process. Two examples include The Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that provides grants to vulnerable members of society. According to Porche (2019), their mission is “to promote a high-performing healthcare system to achieve the primary outcomes of better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency” (p. 352). Porche (2019) reports that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s goal is to “improve the health and health care of all Americans” (p.355). This foundation provides grants focusing on “health leadership, health systems, healthy communities, and healthy children and healthy weight” (Porche, 2019, p. 355).

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