Employment Help and Volunteer Resources for Senior Citizens and Retirees

Tylene Welch

Are you retired but feeling the itch to get back out there because you still have something to contribute? You’re not alone.

People aged 55 and older are reporting improved health benefits as a result of reentering the workforce, or volunteering their time. Specifically, volunteers are enjoying decreases in anxiety, depression, loneliness, and social isolation, as well as enhanced physical capacity and higher life satisfaction.

But where do you start? Maybe you’ve been out of the workforce a long time and you’re not sure if you’re still a competitive candidate for employment. Or maybe you’ve never volunteered because you were always focused on family and work. Not to worry! In this article, we’re providing tons of resources for employment and volunteer opportunities no matter where you reside. There’s a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Employment Agencies and Resources for Seniors and Retirees

There are a ton of job resources out there, but it’s best to find the programs specifically for seniors and retirees. The following resources can help you in your job search, with training and work experience, and more.

  • AARP offers a Work channel full of information aiming to help you find a job, update your resume, polish your interviewing skills, negotiate pay and benefits, and more. It also features their own job board to help with your search.
  • The AARP Foundation also offers a Back to Work 50+ page full of helpful resources and information.
  • The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging provide tons of resources for seniors and retirees based on helping you maintain self-sufficiency. Find their resources in your area using their helpful tool.
  • Online job search engines like Monster, CareerBuilder, and are all great resources for finding open positions. Most sites even allow you to create an account and save your preferences or have search results delivered to your email.
  • Recruitment and staffing agencies can connect you with temporary positions if you’re not looking for something permanent or hoping to get some on-the-job experience before entering a new field. Staffing agencies can even help you polish your interview skills and update your computer skills. A simple Google search will help you find agencies in your area, or you may consult your state Department of Labor office for more information.
  • Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) is a program that offers job training and community services to those 55 years of age and older. We’ll go into further detail on this program further down.
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and your state’s unemployment agency will provide one-stop career sites in your community. There you will find help with job searches, training, referrals, and assistance locating other employment programs. Check out the Employment and Training Administration page for resources.
  • Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) site offers resources for veterans, service members, and their families. Find out more about veteran employment services through the Department of Labor.
  • Many other sites offer blogs and job searches just for seniors. Here are a few to check out:

How to Find Local Employment Agencies and Resources

To find local employment services specifically made for seniors and retirees, just contact a local senior center or plug your ZIP code into the search bar on the Older Worker Program Finder site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

The SCSEP aims to help low-income, unemployed people aged 55 and over find work. They can help you find part-time work with a community service organization with the possibility of permanent employment in the future. Many people find this program as a great way to get back into the workforce and to help build their skills and confidence.

These are the prerequisites to eligibility for the SCSEP:

  • Aged 55 or older
  • Living on an income no more than 125% of the federal poverty line
  • Unemployed

Contact the SCSEP for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors and Retirees

If you’re looking for a way to get out of the house and make a difference in the world but aren’t worried about making extra income, you could make your greatest impact through volunteer work. Nonprofits and community organizations rely heavily on senior volunteers, in 2016, older Americans spent a combined 3.3 billion hours, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. That’s a big impact.

Not only can volunteering make positive changes in your community, you can experience personal benefits too. Here are some ways retirees can get involved in their community and get back to work making a difference in the world:

  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) is one of the largest volunteer networks in America. We’ll discuss this program in more detail below.
  • The Senior Companion program is a great volunteer opportunity that helps another senior maintain independence but also provides you with a sense of community and connection.
  • Service Corps Foster Grandparents program pairs up seniors with foster kids in need of someone who cares. If you love caring for kids and want to help those less fortunate than your family, learn more about the grandparent foster program.
  • Or, you can swing by your local senior center for a visit. Seniors living in assisted living facilities love visits from a friendly face and might have a few stories to share too.

Although volunteering won’t produce any income, it does offer the flexibility you might be accustomed to in your retirement. If you’re looking for a way to get out of the house, needing a stronger sense of purpose, or wanting to help out those less fortunate than you, consider volunteering a little of your time.

How to Find Local Volunteer Opportunities

Finding volunteer opportunities in your community is easy. Call up any senior center in your area or visit the All for Good site to get started.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP)

The RSVP program through Senior Corps is one of the largest volunteer networks for seniors and retirees in the nation. The best thing about this program is the flexibility of it. Volunteers get to choose how, where, and how often they participate. The program offers orientation, training, and supplemental service while on duty, so everything is pretty much taken care of for you. You can even choose to volunteer in ways you’re already skilled in, or learn something new if you wish. Learn how to get started with the RSVP.

Many seniors and retirees find that retirement is just too boring for them and they want to get out and make a difference in the world. Whether you’re looking to make some extra income or volunteer your time and skills to a cause you’re passionate about — there are tons of resources out there for you.

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