Older Americans Recognized

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Article Contributed by
Office for the Aging

Older Americans are traditionally recognized during May. We set aside this time to review and appreciate their characteristics and many contributions. Looking at their trends and behavior in recent years, noticeable changes have occurred regarding mature workers. Thanks to science and medical attention with the emphasis of a healthy, active life style, not only is life expectancy longer but a noticeable shift in goals from retirement to working is occurring.

Recent data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the percentage of retirement age Americans in the work force has doubled from 10% in 1985 to 20% in February, 2019.
This change may indicate that college educated individuals are the fastest growing population. Those who are 65 plus and working increased from 25% in 1985 to 53% in 2019. Their average income also increased.

Improved health has been a significant factor. Seventy eight percent of those 65 plus who are working or looking for work reveal that they are in good health. Seventy seven percent have reported that they feel they have no limitations. Imagine that!

What are the benefits of a job? A job keeps you active, alert, healthy, feeling young and yes, you have more money to spend. The other side is the enormous benefit to business. Mature workers are there every day on time and finish the job that they are given.

Local employment and training opportunities are available for those who wish to enter the workforce. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) places and pays individuals at various not for profit or government sites. This program which is administered locally by the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, uses Department of Labor Funds through Senior Service America, Inc.

Program participants are able to improve their skills and have the advantage of current work. They also provide valuable community service to the site where they are working. Some of the area sites are the Jamestown Meals on Wheels Program, the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Nutrition Program, the Chautauqua Adult Day Programs, Chautauqua Works, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and CARTS.

For more information about SCSEP you may call Linda Spaulding directly at the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, 716 753-4856.

Featured photo was at the nutrition site involving the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging for food preparation for the Jamestown Meals on Wheels Program at UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Jamestown. From left to right are Debbie Heiser and Jody Ekstrom from UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Jamestown and Tammy Raimondo from the Senior Employment Program.