Welcome to the second edition of the Conspiracy Chronicles, the monthly newsletter from Ever Widening Circles celebrating the Conspiracy of Goodness happening around the world!
Once a month, we’ll update you with a problem the world faces. Then introduce you to one of our favorite thought leaders tackling the problem and leave you with a few ways you can add to the #ConspiracyofGoodness to support them!
This month, we’re learning to age with grace.
The world’s retirement age population is growing, fast. In 2017, there were an expected 962 million people around the world over age 60. And by 2050, the global population of people over 60 is expected to rise to 2.1 billion. Of that growing population, 425 million people will be over the age of 80. So, how can we find ways to engage this generation with such a valuable set of skills and life experiences?
The United States, like so many nations, is welcoming an enormous wave of retirees, with 10,000 people turning 65 every day. Among these seniors, loneliness is becoming an increasing problem as more and more people are living alone. Loneliness has been linked to health issues like heart attack, stroke, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and early death. Unfortunately, one-third of seniors in the US say they feel lonely.
So, what can we do about this?
Well, there are some important resources out there that could help us engage seniors to combat loneliness and find ways to utilize their unique life skills. This population reaching retirement age are more likely than ever to be active online. This means that seniors are better able to stay connected to each other and their loved ones. While using online tools to stay active (like the one we’ll introduce you to today).
This is great news when we look at resources like the United Nations that are reporting that older people are being viewed as contributors to development, with particular skills that allow them to act for the benefit of society. Indeed, one of the best way’s older adults can boost their health and longevity is by staying active through volunteering. So, let us introduce you to an organization mobilizing people over the age of 50 for good!
Our Featured Thought Leader Tackling the Problem
Meet Encore.org! Encore.org is an innovation hub tapping the talent of people over 50 as a force for good. Their campaign, Gen2Gen, mobilizes people over 50 to stand up for — and with — young people today.
In 2019, for the first time ever, there are more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 18. With this in mind, Encore.org is bringing the generations together to make this more-old-than-young society work for all ages. Their work is all about “innovating at the intersection of aging, intergenerational connection, and social good.”
So, how can you or a loved get involved with Encore.org?
One of the best, and most popular, ways is to take the Encore.org quiz, “Are you living in an age bubble?” It’s a great way to start understanding what’s possible in this world of volunteering!
Their CEO, Marc Freedman has also put out a great book called, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. It’s a fascinating look into why now, more than ever, we are at the perfect point in time to bring generations together for the health and wellbeing of all. It’s a great read for people looking to find connection and meaning as they age.
Simple Things You Can Do!
Start volunteering now! Let’s start simple. Whether or not you are over the age of 65, volunteering now makes you happier. Also, volunteering at a younger age builds habits that will have longevity benefits as you age! It doesn’t matter what you do, just get out there!
Join the Encore.org Gen2Gen campaign or share it with a loved one! There’s a lot of content there, including the top 10 mentoring movies of all time — and a quick guide to help people organize a watch party in their neighborhood. You can also check out ways individuals can get involved.
Share resources like the Stanford Center on Longevity with your loved ones! The Center does some great research into how we can live happier, healthier, and more financially stable lives as we age. They have some great resources to explore!
Get Creative! Volunteering is a two-way street! If you or a younger member of your family wants to volunteer, consider spending time with older people who may not be mobile enough to volunteer themselves. Loneliness is a problem we all face. So, try reaching out to a local senior center or retirement home to see if there are ways you can get involved with seniors in your community!
Keep up with the community!
Let us know how you or a loved one are finding ways to age with grace. Use the hashtag #ConspiracyofGoodness if you share your stories on social media!
And join the #CommunityofGoodness Facebook Group to see what other people are up to and share inspiration you come across.
Follow more from #ConspiracyofGoodness!
Every month we put out an edition of the Conspiracy Chronicles. It’s our newsletter that explores a major issue the world faces, and introduces you to one of the thought leaders tackling the problem! Along the way, we also share some great tips with you on how you can make a difference too!