engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults
The number of adults in the U.S. age 65 and older will increase from 46 million today to more than 70 million in 2030. This 52 percent increase in the number of older adults in a relatively short period of time provides an opportunity for society—and the Aging Network—to transform how we think about the value of an aging population and how communities position themselves to harness the tremendous resource older adults represent to make positive change.
In recent years, much has been learned about the individual and societal impact of social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation is commonly described as a lack of relationships or infrequent social contact while loneliness is defined as the subjective perception of being alone. Research suggests that remaining socially engaged improves the quality of life for older adults and is associated with better health. In addition, older adults who are socially engaged in their communities can share their knowledge, talent, skills, experience and wisdom, allowing them to contribute with a positive and powerful impact. Social engagement contributes to greater physical, mental and emotional health and well-being in older adults avoiding the negative impacts of isolation.
As a partnership of diverse organizations engAGED is committed to developing and promoting engagement opportunities through a wide variety of channels that overcome barriers to participation. engAGED also seeks to recognize and empower older adults as valuable contributors to their communities and to the services they help to provide through volunteerism.
This national effort, administered by n4a and supported by our partners, is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, which is part of the U.S. Administration for Community Living. Through the Center, the partners will work to provide information and resources that can be used to promote older adult engagement in communities across the country.
To learn more about emerging trends, access resources, and replication strategies that the Aging Network can use and tailor in their communities; and the programmatic efforts of our partners, visit engagingolderadults.org.