What We Heard
Older people are an asset to any community and many continue contributing their time and talents even after retirement. An age-friendly community provides multiple and diverse ways older people can, if they choose, continue to work for pay, volunteer their skills and be actively engaged in community life and the political process.
Seniors’ diverse skill sets, life experiences and achievements are applicable to a wide range of “second career” employment. There is a need for ways of connecting older people to existing opportunities, particularly on municipal and nonprofit boards and commissions, and for identifying where the community might benefit from new programs or from matching experienced older people with employers, business incubators, and school training programs.
Technology training for older adults helps them remain relevant and connected. Entrepreneurial seniors should be connected to existing workforce development resources to foster greater self-sufficiency.
Age discrimination in the workplace continues to be a barrier for older workers. Educating employers on the benefits of retaining and recruiting older workers can help increase employment opportunities. The workplace can be made more welcoming for older adults to put their experience and expertise to use in new ways.
Most adults who are drawn to participate in the political process do so because of issues that affect them directly. But that’s not all – many have a desire to “give back” to society. Lifetime experience can help inform local programs, policy and legislation. Concern about the world we are passing on to future generations also plays a role in civic participation. An Age Friendly community enables and encourages active engagement of all residents in political and civic life.
Goals at a Glance
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT GOALS
- Increase opportunities for active participation in civic affairs for all residents.
- Increase the number of older adults who participate as volunteers on local municipal, government, community boards and commissions.
- Strengthen outreach efforts to potential volunteers, including organizing information about volunteer opportunities in one location.
- Facilitate the use of volunteers by county organizations by offering training and support to both potential organizations/managers and potential volunteers.
- Increase employer awareness of the benefits of employing older adults.
- Recognize and encourage employers who offer part time, work from home, flexible hours and other benefits for older workers.
- Increase training opportunities for older adults to develop skills necessary to meet the needs of a dynamic workforce.
- Facilitate opportunity for entrepreneurship and mentoring programs.
- Increase opportunities for financial planning to enable older workers to plan for retirement.