The number of people reaching the age of 80 and up is increasing. This is not an especially startling fact but how many people are in this age group in North Texas. In 2012, there were about 700,000 in Texas. (http://www.aoa.acl.gov/AoA_Programs/HPW/Behavioral/docs2/Texas.pdf) If nine percent of the state’s population lives in Dallas County, one could roughly figure that 63,000 people 80 years old and above live right here in the area.
What’s interesting is that more and more of these elders are very capable of contributing by volunteering or even working. This became very clear, just this week, when I was taking a 90-year-old woman to visit her husband in rehab. I take her because she lives in a retirement center that does not offer van service, and she no longer drives. That’s the only reason. She can do most everything else! She is sharp minded, interested in everything, and is always looking for something to do. She is not likely to engage in just day-filling activities with other older people. If you saw her, you would not think she was in her 70’s. I constantly come into contact with people in their nineties just like her. What’s more, many want to do volunteer work but just no longer have a means of transportation.
So this brings me to think about what can these people do to help others? People in Touch reaches out to older adults through one of its telephone services. For a small fee we call older people and talk for about 30 minutes. Why can’t I just use an older person to make these call and earn a little extra cash? What else can you think about in your business where another experienced person can assist especially if transportation is not a problem? I can think about letter-writing, making calls, receptionist, welcome, and on and on. Why don’t we all try out some of this experienced talent?