Sunday, January 15, 2006

volunteer work

The wisdom and expertise of many elderly people is a vast resource, many charitable and philanthropic organizations gladly receive older individuals who wish to offer volunteer services. When older individuals engage in volunteer work they often find that they become deeply engaged in the organization's activities even though they may not have been particularly interested at first.
Politics is another field of endeavor that is open to older individuals. Because approximately 20 percent of the voters in national elections are older than 65, the older age group can be a potent force in politics for the well-being of the nation. Robert Binstock, editor of The Handbook of Aging and The Social Sciences, holds that the elderly have in the past not wielded independent political power in their own interests, but this could change in the future. At present the number of elderly voters grows yearly, and volunteer opportunities abound. Groups that need volunteers include foster grandparents for the mentally retarded, sitters in day-care centers or churches, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) (which coordinates volunteer opportunities), and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), an organization that provides free management counseling to small businesses. Local AARP offices can help to identify specific volunteer opportunities.
See also RSVP; SCORE.
Gillies, J. A Guide to Caring for and Coping with Aging Parents. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981.
Loewinsohn, R. J. Survival Handbook for Widows. Glenview, Ill.: AARP, 1984.

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