AmeriCorps Honors Volunteers during Older Americans Month
Older adults serving as AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers make vital contributions to our nation
WASHINGTON, DC— Each May, AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, celebrates older adults as part of National Older Americans Month and the positive impacts they make possible. Every year, hundreds of thousands of the AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers pledge to “get things done” through national service programs.
Older adults lend their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected. This year’s theme by the Administration for Community Living, “Aging Unbound,” provides the opportunity to explore diverse aging experiences, discuss how communities can combat stereotypes, promote flexible thinking about aging, and learn how we can all benefit when older adults remain engaged, independent, and included.
“AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving in the Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP programs make incredible, lasting impact in their communities,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Their rich life experience is invaluable to the teachers, students and families who benefit from their service and care.”
“AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and their unique service roles are vital to our country,” said Atalaya Sergi, director, AmeriCorps Seniors. “They bring varied life experiences, backgrounds, and cultures to their service, and they put the invaluable skills and expertise they have gained toward improving their communities and enriching the lives of all those they serve. Our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers are vital to the fabric of their communities and to our nation.”
While communities benefit from their time, skills, and experience, older volunteers reap extraordinary health benefits by serving. A growing body of research points to significant mental and physical health benefits for volunteers, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, lower rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations. Volunteering adds more years to the lives of older adults, and more life to those years. In a 2019 longitudinal study, AmeriCorps Seniors found:
- 84% of volunteers reported improved or stable health during a time in life when one might expect to see a decline.
- 88% of volunteers reported a decrease in feelings of isolation.
- 78% of volunteers felt less depressed.
Join with AmeriCorps this Older Americans Month and recognize the commitment of the thousands of Americans who have chosen to give back through national service and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
For more information about opportunities for older adults, visit AmeriCorps.gov/Seniors.