Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.

The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

…a Health Club for Your Mind. Body and Spirit!

Now let’s look at other volunteer options.

Older Peace Corps Volunteers

The link between lifelong learning and the Peace Corps is very strong. Put simply, the primary job of Peace Corp volunteers is to teach. What’s especially nice is that older Americans are contributing to Peace Corps programs all over the globe and, in the process, find their age to be an asset. The organization recognizes that no group has more to offer in terms of experience, maturity, and demonstrated ability. There is no upper age limit to join the Peace Corps. In fact, volunteers who are well into their 80s have served and continue to serve.

Support for Older Adult Volunteer Projects
Nothing speaks more to the viability of a project than the willingness of an organization or foundation to provide the necessary funds. Here are some examples from Civic Ventures ® of volunteer projects for older adults that have been recently funded. Each of these projects has a

  • In Arizona, the Piper Foundation announced $1.6 million in grants to support the development of four Next Chapter centers in Maricopa County. The centers are designed to help older adults to explore opportunities for volunteer and paid service, as well as options related to health, wellness and education. In Ohio, the Cleveland Foundation provided $360,000 in grants to support projects that will expand paid employment and unpaid service opportunities for older adults in that community.
  • The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) inaugurated a project called “Civic Engagement in an Older America” that will promote research on programs and public policies likely to increase civic participation among older adults.
  • The National Council on the Aging launched RespectAbility, an initiative designed to help community organizations and decision-makers enhance civic participation of older Americans. The project include research with leaders of nonprofit organizations to identify barriers to engaging older adults, a national public awareness campaign, and preparation of news articles on engagement by older adults by a group of veteran journalists.
  • The Harvard School of Public Health-MetLife Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civic Engagement released its report on issue a new report on “Reinventing Aging: Baby Boomers and Civic Engagement.” Last fall, the Initiative announced the launching of its second phase which will include a number of activities intended to expand public awareness of the value of older adults as a social resource.
  • Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions published research based on the Experience Corps program that showed that older adults who volunteer in troubled urban schools not only improve the educational experience of children, but realize meaningful improvements in their own mental and physical health.
Lifelong learning and community service go hand-in-hand. If you truly desire to make your later life more complete then community service in tandem with lifelong learning should be a part of that plan as well. There are too many benefits to be gained and given from engaging in community service for it to be ignored. Take the opportunity to use your hard-earned wisdom and life experience for the benefit of younger generations. You’ll make a lasting impact on them for years to come. It’s a great feeling.


The British author, Ellis Peters says, Nothing is more pleasing and engaging than the sense of having conferred benefits, not even the gratification of receiving them. She is so right.

For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at

Till Next Time…

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