The rapidly growing number of older adults provides an opportunity to increase volunteer rates in the U.S. According to this AARP study, 39 percent of retired Americans report increasing their volunteering after retirement. This report discusses the willingness of older generations to serve their communities, motives and barriers they face in volunteering, and new initiatives, policies, and reforms intended to improve civic engagement for older adults.
The AARP report, based on survey results of 1,012 adults between the ages of 44 and 79, offers an extensive look at the readiness of older adults to volunteer in the U.S.; the motives and barriers associated with volunteering for these generations; and new programs that will increase volunteer rates in the older adult population. The sheer size of the Boomer generation has the power to increase volunteer rates and civic participation significantly in the U.S.
Other report highlights include:
- Nearly 73 percent of older adults have volunteered for at least one organization in the past year.
- Almost half of experienced Americans cite a lack of information as a barrier to volunteering.
- The majority of experienced Americans believe they will leave the world in worse shape than when they inherited it.
- Creating awareness about volunteer programs in the community may increase civic engagement for all community members, regardless of age or ability.
How to Use
The report provides a high-level of information regarding volunteer rates among experienced Americans and addresses the issues that restrict civic participation among this group, as well as, new initiatives and policies that will strengthen communities through increased civic engagement. Community leaders and local officials can use this report to gain an in-depth understanding of the insights and reflections of older adults concerning volunteering. Additionally, after reading this report, local officials will have a better sense of how to engage older volunteers in the community through awareness of local volunteer programs and opportunities.