The most recent podcast series on the SAGE Crossroads website focuses on the economics on longevity science. During a conversation with Daniel Perry, the executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research, the topic of the “baby bust” arose. The baby bust, as Mr. Perry explained it, is the period when the baby boom generation retires from the paid workforce in droves, leaving a huge staffing and experience gap across the spectrum. This could have very damaging effects on the US economy.
One of the best solutions to the baby bust, offered by both Mr. Perry and scholars alike, is keeping older Americans actively engaged through volunteerism. Volunteering allows older Americans to use their experience, time, and know how to really make a difference in their community and continue to contribute to the economy. It also allows them to pass their expertise along to the next group of leaders.
Groups such as Experience Corps have done a marvelous job of coordinating volunteer opportunities for older citizens across America. Their programs generally focus on mentoring young people and helping them succeed in the community and classroom. It is crucial that more government-sponsored and private programs such as this one arise to tap into the great potential that the aging of the baby boom has created.
To find out about more about volunteering, contact both your local office on aging and the federal Administration on Aging.
This post was written by Valerie Hagan, former Health Programs Coordinator at the Alliance.