Good health, social connections and financial security all contribute to a good quality later life. Meaningful work (paid or unpaid as a volunteer) contributes to all of these. Not only is work important financially but it is also important for social connections, provides a sense of purpose, is an important part of our identity and keeps us physically and mentally active. Age-inclusive work and volunteer environments help individuals 55+ to enjoy good quality work and/or purposeful volunteer opportunities for longer while benefitting the community and the economy.
Despite these benefits, systemic discrimination encountered by adults 55+ regarding both paid employment and volunteer opportunities is deeply embedded in our society.
The Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO) is launching an exciting initiative – A2A Peer Project – that will include a ‘hub’ of information, tools and resources on the OACAO website as well as a job posting site for both paid employment and volunteer positions. In addition, six educational workshop presentations and one webinar will be offered in the regions represented by the OACAO. By providing these resources and workshops, this project can be expected to reduce ageism by supporting adults 55+ to remain active, engaged and able to secure meaning and purpose through either paid employment or volunteer roles.
In the coming months, I will be working with the OACAO, an Advisory Committee for Engagement (comprised of older adult volunteers) and member centres from across the province on this timely and important initiative.
We can’t do this alone. We want to hear from you to ensure that the older adult centres in Ontario can build on what they already offer to create and offer supports and training for job and volunteer seekers that truly reflect your needs and interests.
If you are 55+ and living in Ontario, I invite you to complete a brief survey by clicking on the link below. The survey asks you about what training might benefit you in your job or volunteer search and, secondly, about your experience with age discrimination.
Thank you in advance for completing the survey! For more information about OACAO, please visit their website at: http://www.oacao.org/