Monday, 6 May 2013

Older volunteers; boomers and shadow boomers

1. There are close to 15 million older adults in Canada: more than 5 million seniors age 65 and over and close to 10 million baby boomers (45 – 64 years old). Together, they make up 43% of the population.
 2. Baby boomers and senior adults contributed more than 1 billion volunteer hours in 2010. Older adults have a lower volunteer rate than younger age-groups; however, they contribute, on average, more hours per year. This is likely due to health and mobility issues that increase with age, while availability tends to increase with age, due to fewer work and family responsibilities.
 3. Among those 45 to 64 years of age and those age 65 to 75 years of age, females tend to volunteer more and to contribute more average hours per year than males. However, over the age of 75, males were more likely to volunteer than females and males also volunteered more average hours per year.
 4. Baby boomers tend to volunteer to supervise events, serve on boards and committees, or participate in fund raising, while seniors are more likely to volunteer to provide support to individuals through counselling and giving advice and to provide support to health care services. Adults age 45 and over tend to volunteer within sports and recreation, social services, education and research and religious non-profit organizations. Involvement with education and research drops quickly with advancing age, while seniors' contribution to other types of organizations remains relatively stable.
 5. Baby boomers tend to seek meaningful volunteer activities and have consistently high rates of volunteering. They are loyal volunteers who have time and flexible schedules, making them highly valued as volunteers; however, they also have high expectations for their volunteer experiences at organizations. In addition to a desire to contribute to the community, seniors are motivated to meet new people and volunteer with friends, whereas baby boomers are more often motivated to use or develop skills.
 6. Volunteering provides health benefits to older adults. It offers them significant physical, emotional and cognitive or brain health benefits. It also enhances social support, social inclusion and civic engagement.
 7. Senior adults may experience challenges and barriers to volunteering related to transportation and scheduling issues and out-of-pocket expenses.
 8. Boomers, *shadow boomers and seniors will increasingly be interested in having a strong voice in political and social issues. Programs to educate and support individuals in citizen advocacy and civic participation will become increasingly important.
 9. Volunteers bring both social and economic benefits to non-profit organizations through their volunteer work.
 10. Key strategies for engaging older adults include those that promote well-being during times of transition, such as retirement planning and condo volunteering, as well as strategies that promote personal development and learning, such as skills-based volunteering, voluntourism and citizen science.
 11. Public policy and programs aimed at promoting volunteering among older adults and strengthening the capacity of organizations to involve older adults within

Volunteering and Older Adults: Final Report - Volunteer Canada

According to William H. Frey of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the esteemed Brookings Institution, there are actually two sub-groups of baby boomers—“young seniors” ages 45 to 54 and the “shadow boomers” who are ages 55-64. The term "shadow boomer" actually refers to the younger people, those born between '57 and '64, who were not of age during the Viet Nam war or during the sixties.

1 comment:

Red said...

Well, I'm one of those senior volunteers and damn proud of it. I get so much by volunteering.