Exciting new research results previewed; First-ever Senior Corps mini-documentary premiered
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Corporation for National and Community for Service hosted hundreds of nonprofit and volunteer leaders in Washington, D.C. last week for the 2018 National Senior Corps Convening when representatives from Senior Corps programs across the country traveled to the region to learn from national experts and gain valuable insights from peers.
The three-day event was a celebration of Senior Corps’ impact and the innovation laying the groundwork for its future. The program has demonstrated its potential to help solve some of America’s toughest problems – elder abuse, the opioid epidemic, and more – and highlighted some of these inventive solutions to convening attendees.
The Director of Senior Corps, Deborah Cox-Roush, previewed new federal partnerships for conference attendees, outlining the ways in which the program is achieving those goals. These include a previously announced Elder Justice Initiative with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Take Back Day with the Drug Enforcement Agency, and a forthcoming pilot project with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs focused on keeping aging veterans in their homes. Recognizing that Senior Corps volunteers and programs are uniquely positioned to promote elder abuse, federal partners played a key role in the convening, leading multiple sessions on elder justice, fighting fraud, and preventing elder abuse.
Those in attendance were also among the first to learn about the exciting new results of a three-year research study of Senior Corps programs. This research further demonstrates the powerful impact volunteering can have on the health of older adults. A new mini-documentary featuring volunteers in Wyoming who credit Senior Corps with improving their well-being also debuted during the event. Preliminary findings were released last July, and the full results will be available later this summer.
“The service our Senior Corps volunteers provide through Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP are vital to thousands of communities across the nation. The challenges they face and overcome every day with their service is an example of the ability we all have to make a difference,” said Deborah Cox-Roush, director of Senior Corps. “The 2018 National Senior Corps Convening was a reminder that together, we can make this nation a better place for all.”
In addition to inspiring speeches from Deborah Cox-Roush, director of Senior Corps and Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the Senior Corps program attendees heard from leading names in the senior and aging community. Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation; Karyne Jones, president and CEO of the National Caucus on Black Aging; and Bob Blancato, national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition; all explored challenges facing the aging population and inspired the group with a message of service.
Today, approximately 220,000 Americans age 55+ serve through Senior Corps’ three programs – Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP. For more than five decades, Senior Corps volunteers have used their lifetime of skills and experience to mentor and tutor young people, help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their homes, renovate homes, and respond to natural disasters. To learn more about how to get involved with Senior Corps, visit SeniorCorps.gov.