Employment for Seniors
How to Keep Your Aging Parents Active and Healthy

One sure way to combat boredom for your aging parents is to consider employment for seniors as a solution. We’re not talking about Rosie The Riveter-type of employment here, but fun stuff. The kind they can do for just a few hours a week to

  • get out into the community,

  • give them a purpose, and

  • get together with friends. And, if they’re very lucky,

  • bring in a few extra bucks, as well.

But even if it’s not a paid job they end up with, the joy they would get from volunteering is worth every bit as much...

  • House-sitting for others is always a good option, since it takes very little effort, provides a helpful service and gets them out of the house for awhile.

  • If they can still drive, they could help deliver Meals On Wheels.

  • Or they could deliver or help arrange flowers for The Flower Shuttle, which gathers floral displays from weddings, grand openings and the like and makes small bouquets out of them to deliver to various care facilities.

Maybe Mom or Dad has a green thumb. You could check with a local florist or nursery to see if they need an extra pair of hands. They could dead-head the petunias, keep the walkways neatly swept, or help out at the counter.

Your dad still loves tinkering with his old car? Maybe he can lead a men’s club somewhere or find work in the Automotive or Hardware section of a local retail store.

One friend of my parents’ got her friends together to form a singing group, some even playing instruments, to lead a monthly sing-along at a nursing home. Your Mom could lead a women’s sewing circle or crocheting or quilting group somewhere, or perhaps a Bible study class, as another acquaintance of mine has done.

Senior centers often have groups like these that go out into the community to share their gifts of time and talent. They may also keep busy there by answering the phone, putting together mailing packets, etc.
  • If your parent has a dog or cat who could become a pet therapy example, they could first help with the training and then go on visits with the pets to care facilities, children’s wards, etc.

  • A nearby school might need cafeteria help at lunchtime.

  • You say your Mom loves watching cooking shows on TV? She could have her own, in a way, by leading a cooking demonstration at a school or long term care facility on a regular basis.

  • Baggers are often needed at grocery stores, making them a frequent opportunity for employment for seniors.

  • Hotels and hospitals sometimes have a need for someone to help with the laundry.
There are even websites that help seniors find employment in their communities.

If they love to visit a museum or tour a historic home, ask if they’d like to volunteer as a tour guide there. Chances are, if they’ve toured it that often, they probably know enough about it to lead a guided tour, so why not?

A singing chorus like SPEBSQSA (the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America), dancing groups, and vaudeville-like acts that involve seniors can be found most anywhere. If there’s not one in their area, maybe they can start one.

Whatever they find to do as employment for seniors...

  • it will give them a sense of purpose,

  • provide an activity to take pride in,

  • make them feel good about contributing to society,

  • and be fun.

Or, as one lady who crochets blankets for The Linus Project, likes to say, “It beats sitting alone in your room!”

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