Civic Engagement in an Older America E-Newsletter

August, 2010

CONTENTS

2010 Volunteering in America Report Shows Spike in Volunteers

Let's Hear Your Ideas to Improve the Older Americans Act!

Mobilizing Encore Talent for Education, Health, and the Green Economy

Baby Boomers, Public Service and Minority Communities

Preparing for Aging Boomers: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action

Showcasing State Strategies to Maximize Potential of Older Adults

Boomers and Intergenerational Service Learning

Nonprofits + Older Volunteers = Great Return

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2010 Volunteering in America Report Shows Spike in Volunteers

Despite difficult economic times, the number of Americans volunteering in their communities jumped by 1.6 million last year, the largest increase in six years, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service's annual Volunteering in America report. Across the country, 63.4 million Americans volunteered to help their communities in 2009, giving more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $169 billion. The complete report can be accessed here.

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Let's Hear Your Ideas to Improve the Older Americans Act!

Since 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) has funded critical services that have helped older adults stay healthy, independent, and engaged-services like meals, job training, senior centers, caregiver support, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment, and legal assistance. In 2011, the OAA is due for reauthorization. This is our moment to modernize aging services for the 21st century. How would you improve aging services? What ideas do you have to improve volunteering and service opportunities for older Americans? Visit The Exchange to share and vote on the best and brightest ideas for OAA reauthorization.

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Mobilizing Encore Talent for Education, Health, and the Green Economy

This series of three companion studies from Civic Ventures explores emerging encore careers that address critical social needs: In How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future identifies emerging jobs, including teacher coaches and content advisers, which offer promising opportunities to encore workers. In How Boomers Can Help the Nation Go Green, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning reveals how the green economy must tap existing talent to grow quickly and that certain emerging jobs offer promising opportunities to experienced workers. In How Boomers Can Help Improve Health Care, Partners in Care Foundation identifies six emerging jobs for experienced workers that have the potential to improve health outcomes, such as community health workers and chronic illness coaches. For more information on the three studies, click here.

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Baby Boomers, Public Service and Minority Communities

This study finds that most Jewish Baby Boomers see retirement as a time for work and service, not rest. But organizations serving ethnic or religious communities are unprepared to tap this potentially huge influx of talent and experience. Based on a nationwide survey of 34 metropolitan Jewish communities conducted in July 2009, the survey elicited the attitudes of more than 6,500 individual Baby Boomer respondents about their future plans for public service and civic engagement. In addition to analyzing the survey data, the study offers recommendations on how the Jewish community can find substantial pathways that will engage Baby Boomers in communal institutional life. To read the full report-written by David M. Elcott, PhD, of the Research Center for Leadership in Action, and prepared in concert with the Berman Jewish Policy Archive, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU-click here.

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Preparing for Aging Boomers: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action

Eighty million members of the boomer generation have reached or are approaching the traditional retirement age of 65. These boomers overwhelmingly want to age in place. Yet, few communities are prepared to meet the needs of older residents, or to engage these residents in civic life. In response, the Center for Civic Partnerships created a user-friendly toolkit to help local governments, human service providers, community groups, and other partners plan for an aging population. The toolkit, Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action, includes: (1) a community planning overview, which presents key elements of an aging well planning process; (2) step-by-step guides for three important data-gathering activities: resident surveys, public forums, and focus groups; (3) case studies that show how seven communities are addressing the needs of an aging population; and, (4) a resource list of web sites and organizations offering valuable information on aging-related issues.

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Showcasing State Strategies to Maximize Potential of Older Adults

This new issue brief from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices lays out strategies states can use to engage older adults through both paid employment and volunteerism and avoid potential challenges to state economies resulting from an aging demographic-like an increased burden on public health programs, reduced tax revenues and a decreased pool of skilled workers. Proposed strategies include: (1) establishing public-private partnerships to review the issue of engagement and recommend solutions; (2) increasing awareness of the benefits of work, volunteering, and education among older adults and businesses; (3) creating connections between older adults and work, volunteer, and educational opportunities; (4) strengthening engagement opportunities within state workforce, aging and education policies; and, (5) encouraging public sector employees to remain in the workforce longer, reconnect to work after retirement, and volunteer. A copy of the issue brief is available here.

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Boomers and Intergenerational Service Learning

The Foundation for Long Term Care, with support from the Corporation for National and Community Service has developed a series of eight web?modules focusing on Intergenerational Service Learning. The modules cover topics closely aligned with the concept of civic engagement for elders, and can be viewed free of charge here.

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Nonprofits + Older Volunteers = Great Return

Over the last three years, The National Council on Aging's RespectAbility Initiative worked with nonprofits across the country to engage older adults in leadership and professional volunteer roles.Their new report, Boomer Solutions: Skilled Talent to Meet Nonprofit Needs, shares how nonprofits can best capitalize on the coming influx of Boomer talent into the volunteer workforce. Read the executive summary and download a free copy of the full report (email registration required) here.