Older Adults' Engagement Should Be Recognized and Encouraged

Older Adults' Engagement Should Be Recognized and Encouraged

As a flurry of new television ad spots suggests, aging baby boomers represent a huge untapped resource for nonprofits in need of volunteers. According to Older Adults' Engagement Should Be Recognized and Encouraged (6 pages, PDF), a brief in the Urban Institute's Perspectives on Productive Aging series, Americans do not become disengaged as they age. Instead, almost 80 percent of people age 55 and older spend time working, volunteering, caring for family members, and/or helping neighbors and friends, while nine out of ten adults age 55 to 64, and eight out of ten adults 65 to 74, engage in one or more of these activities. The brief, which is based on data from the 2002 Health and Retirement Study conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, examines the implications of these findings and recommends a number of initiatives to spur further engagement of aging Americans.