Older people are rich in years, but they also have a wealth of skills and experiences. They have been through and survived many difficult situations in life that we cannot even fathom. However, when people age and become frail, many think of them as more of a burden than still functioning citizens. This article will discuss ways that the elderly can contribute to society positively.
Things that the Elderly Can Do and Have an Impact
Senior citizens have plenty of free time that they would enjoy devoting to activities that they like doing. Getting older is inevitable, but as the age-old cliché goes, age is just a number. Practically older people can remain equally active as they used to be before their retirement.
Here are some activity ideas through which the elderly can contribute to society:
- Volunteering – As people age, many become more open to the idea of socialization and to helping others. They have so much free time looking for different ways to occupy that free time space in reality. One of the best activities that they can do to pass the time and create an impact is to become volunteers for a cause they strongly believe in. For example, they may start serving food at a homeless shelter; they can help animal organizations deal with strays or tutor and help children with their school homework. They can volunteer for so many things that they can undoubtedly find a cause they are passionate about.
- Teach crafts and fading skills – As technology invades our daily lives, many crafts and skills that were once important are getting lost. Elders who know such crafts and skills can open their own workshops to teach others the arts like wood carving, metalsmithing, knitting, pottery, etc. They can act as torchbearers of skills that will soon exist only in history and folklore museums.
- Disseminate their wisdom – Seniors have experiences of events and how life was even before our own births. Their accumulated experiences, knowledge and possibly good judgment can help the younger generation taking essential decisions about their future. They are the ones that have experienced change through the decades and can understand if there is an improvement on something or not, such as individual rights, quality of life and others. Their “wisdom” makes them ideal for their involvement with politics on a community or municipal level.
COL-SUMERS Project – Enabling Elders’ Participation
COL-SUMERS Project seeks ways to enable the active participation of elders in the modern world. Technological improvements in the last decades have created a vast technological gap between the younger generations and the older people that resulted in the latter’s isolation.
See the official website of the COL-SUMERS project initiative to train older persons on how to participate in modern society actively.