With the population’s aging, community engagement has become a critical factor in achieving healthy aging. Low levels of community engagement have been associated with higher death rates and social isolation.

In line with these themes, the active aging approach of the World Health Organization and the age-friendly community strategy are both participatory and empowering. They blend ‘top-down’ policy initiatives to encourage and facilitate community engagement and employment with ‘bottom-up’ participation of older adults in developing their activities.

Furthermore, the process involves older adults and all levels of government, and essential players from all aspects of society.

Today’s episode of This Is Getting Old features Part 3: Civic Engagement and Employment of the 10-part AARP/ Age-Friendly Social Innovation Challenge.

Please tune in to learn more about civic engagement and employment programs specifically designed for older adults and how these programs can help us move towards an age-friendly world.

Key points covered in this episode: 

✔️ Civic Engagement As A Concept

Civic engagement includes:

  • Connecting with others in your community.
  • Serving and giving
  • Any activities such as volunteering
  • Charitable giving
  • Voting in presidential and local elections

Given we also talk about employment, if you haven’t heard of the Age-Friendly Employer program, you can check out episode 58 with Tim Driver, Founder, and CEO of Age-Friendly Venture. Also, check out related This Is Getting Old episodes 90 and 91 with Larry Samuel.

✔️ Joseph’s Situation

Joseph lived in Brooklyn with his daughter and school-age grandchildren. He got in trouble because he ordered magazines from the phone—which is a scam— and his daughter told him he couldn’t use the phone anymore. Joseph is 79, retired, and wants something to do. He feels like he’s home alone in the daytime and doesn’t know how to proceed.

✔️ The Problem?

Many programs to connect people to civic engagement and employment opportunities already exist. However, many people—like Joseph— don’t know about them.

✔️ The Challenge?—Reaching Target Audiences With Information About Civic And Employment Opportunities.

There are a lot of resources, and the challenge is reaching the target audiences, which includes older adults and their families. After all, everyone is aging, so they’ll need information about civic engagement and employment at some point.

✔️ Innovative Solution On The National Level

Promote a nationwide initiative, creating awareness that older adults’ civic engagement and employment opportunities exist and are essential to their well-being.

✔️ Community Ambassador Programs

Local-level ambassador programs, giving a personal connection to the opportunities shared in these outlets, local volunteers receive training to work in their neighborhoods, connecting them personally with people to find them the right opportunities for them.

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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at MelissaBPhD.com to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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