Resources


General Websites

AARP - www.aarp.org. This organization for people age fifty and over was founded in 1958 and has a wealth of information on their website. From financial planning, online career fairs, health and wellness information, travel, caregiving, career change, you get the idea. It also has specific information as to what AARP has going in your state and possibly your city.

Meetup - www.meetup.com. This is a site to meet folks with similar interests to yours. The idea is to find a group doing something you would be interested and join them. The variety of activities is endless. Of course the closer you are to a large metropolitan area or college/university the more options you have. Some groups are free, others may have a small fee $5-$10 to join that covers administration costs and then you are free to participate in the group’s activities. There are the usual groups one would expect for hiking, photography, gardening, fishing, golf, social groups.

Retired Brains - www.retiredbrains.com. This site has a variety of information on a host of topics of interest to seniors. There is a large section on money in and for retirement. A section on healthcare that includes information about medicare. The Home and Family section has lots of senior living, grief support and even dating resources. There is a Jobs and Work section that has numerous resources to help you with full, part-time and new careers options in addition to volunteering.

Administration on Aging - www.aoa.acl.gov. The agency promotes the well-being of older individuals by providing services and programs designed to help them live independently in their homes and communities. This website lists the Federal Agency resources available to help seniors.

National Institute on Aging - www.nia.nih.gov. This website shares health and healthy living information that are the result of the vast amount research funded by the Institute.


Volunteer Opportunities

Encore - www.encore.org. Encore was founded to transform the aging of America into a powerful, positive source of individual and social renewal. This website has a list of volunteer organizations ready and waiting for you to join them. There are also paid, time limited fellowship opportunities that match skilled experienced professionals with social purpose organizations.

Idealist - www.idealist.org. Idealist provides a listing of both paid and volunteer opportunities to work for non profits and, government agencies, that work for or with non profits.

Volunteer Match - www.volunteermatch.org. This website lists volunteer opportunities by either category such as animals, children, education, environment etc. or by organizations near you.

All for Good - www.allforgood.org. The volunteer website lists volunteer opportunities. Very easy to use, just enter your zip code and an array of opportunities come up in your area. You can narrow your choices by using specific keywords.

Senior Corps - www.nationalservice.gov. Senior Corps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service which consists of Foster Grandparent program which provides a way for seniors to serve children and youth in their communities. Also, it has RSVP which is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people over 55. You can use the skills and talents you've learned over a lifetime or develop new ones to serve in a variety of activities within your community. Also, Senior Companions which provides assistance and friendship to adults having difficulty with daily living tasks such as paying bills. They give families of caregivers a time off from their duties and often provide friendship for their clients.

Peace Corp for Seniors - www.peacecorps.gov/50plus. In the Peace Corp, your lifetime learning and professional experience with be an asset in your host country to both your community members and your fellow volunteers. Depending on the volunteer program you choose your service can last from three months to 2 years. You can choose what country you want to serve in, the type of work you do and when you depart. You can even serve with your spouse or partner.

African Conservation Experience - www.conservationafrica.net. African Conservation Experience organizes volunteer placements at wildlife conservation projects in southern Africa ranging from wildlife research and monitoring to animal care at wildlife rehabilitation centers, marine conservation or conservation education. The projects last from 2-12 weeks and volunteers 50+ are encouraged.

Habitat for Humanity - www.habitat.org. Habitat for Humanity volunteer vacations in over 100 countries, building homes for low income families around the world and across the US.

Hands on Network - www.pointsoflight.org. Hands on Network affiliates connect volunteers to meaningful opportunities in communities across the country. Enter your zip code for a list of volunteer opportunities in your area.

Cross-Cultural Solutions - www.crossculturalsolutions.org. Cross-Cultural Solutions offers incredibly safe, enriching, international volunteering opportunities in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. Volunteers work side-by-side in the communities, fostering cultural understanding and global citizenship. Older Volunteers offer a lifetime of experience. With CCS, you’ll discover that you can apply this experience and knowledge that you've acquired over the years and have a huge impact in making a real difference in people’s lives.


Travel References

Road Scholar previously Elderhostel - www.roadscholar.org. This organization has been around since 1975. While you are not staying in hostels, you are not doing five star hotels. These are safe, comfortable, local accommodations designed to give you a feel for the local culture. They have trips that accommodate almost all activity levels with a variety of different activities such as bicycling, rafting, hiking, walking, woodworking, opera, archeology, history. There are trips in the US, and just about anywhere else in the world. There are even intergenerational trips designed for seniors/grandchildren.

Elder Treks - www.eldertreks.com. Established in 1987, ElderTreks offers active, off the beaten path, small group (max 16) adventures by both land and sea in over 100 countries specifically designed for travelers over 50.

Smithsonian Journeys - www.smithsonianjourneys.org. With more than 45 yrs of travel experience, their mission is “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Their collection of diverse tours and cruises has grown to more than 350 on all seven continents. There are trips by land, by train, by sea and by air.

The Caretaker Gazette - www.smithsonianjourneys.org. With more than 45 yrs of travel experience, their mission is “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Their collection of diverse tours and cruises has grown to more than 350 on all seven continents. There are trips by land, by train, by sea and by air.

Go Overseas - www.gooverseas.com. This website offers a listing of study abroad, volunteer abroad and teach abroad opportunities. Each listing has reviews from people who have participated in that activity and a rating for each listing.

Outdoor Travel Adventures - www.otadventures.com. Outdoor Travel Adventures is a full service travel company dedicated to arranging quality outdoor and luxury niche experiences. The destinations include locations such as Antarctica, Borneo, Fiji, Palau, Peru and New Guinea. These trips range in length from a three day live aboard scuba diving adventure on the Great Barrier Reef to 16 days in the Galapagos and Machu Picchu.

Overseas Adventure Travel - www.oattravel.com. Overseas Adventure Travel offers unique small group adventures worldwide to Americans over 50. By land and sea, we explore on—and off—the beaten path with a resident O.A.T. Trip Leader, immersing ourselves in local cultures, sampling unique modes of transportation, and staying in authentic lodgings that reflect the essence of your destination. Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises serves both our GCT and O.A.T. brands with an award-winning fleet known for exceptional value and high-quality experiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Custom-designed according to our travelers’ specifications, our fleet includes 50+ small river and ocean-going ships that we own or privately charter.


Social/Clubs

Meetup - www.meetup.com. This is a site to meet folks with similar interests to yours. The idea is to find a group doing something you would be interested and join them. The variety of activities is endless. Of course the closer you are to a large metropolitan area or college/university the more options you have. Some groups are free, others may have a small fee $5-$10 to join that covers administration costs and then you are free to participate in the groups activities. There are the usual groups one would expect for hiking, photography, gardening, fishing, golf, social groups.

Crone Counsel - www.cronescounsel.org. Crone Counsel gatherings that honor and advance the aging woman’s value to society. These are annual gatherings about women of age, for women of all ages, sharing stories, enriching connections to ourselves, each other and the world.

The Red Hat Society - www.redhatsociety.com. The Red Hat Society is a playgroup for women created to connect like-minded women, make new friends and enrich lives through the power of fun and friendship. The purpose of the groups are to get together and have fun.


Educational

Next Avenue - www.nextavenue.org. Where grown ups keep growing. This website has a variety of articles on topics of interest to people over fifty: health and well-being, money and security, caregiving, work and purpose and living and learning. It is well organized and easy to use.

Open Culture - www.openculture.com. This website list free online courses available from universities across the country. The website is not the most user friendly in that paid sites appear first and if you scroll down you find the free courses but it lists lots of them if you wade through. I found classes from Yale, Ohio State, Penn State etc. and once you go to the particular class you end up on that university's site which often has a whole host of other free classes listed.

Semester at Sea - www.semesteratsea.org. The Semester at Sea, SAS, Lifelong Learning Program provides adult learners with an opportunity to join a multigenerational shipboard community made up of undergraduate students representing 250 colleges and universities, exceptional faculty and staff, and international guests and speakers from around the world. These are long trips, a semester. When at sea lifelong learners may take specified classes, participate in community events or attend an afternoon program designed specifically for them. This is not a cheap trip.

Photoquest Adventures - www.photoquestadventures.com. Founded in 2008, this is a female owned, international company specializing in intimate photography workshops and unique cultural experiences around the globe.

Cornell’s Adult University: Study Tours - www.sce.cornell.edu. Trips are led by Cornell faculty and/or staff so participants enjoy a travel and educational experience led by experts from and elite academic institution. Most trips last about a week or two. Trips have been to Moscow, Italy, and Cuba.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes - www.osherfoundation.org. These Institutes are partners with over 120 lifelong learning programs on university and college campuses across the nation. The classes are of minimal cost designed for older adults interested in learning for the joy of learning - without examinations or grading - and keeping in touch with a larger world. Some of the participating colleges/universities includes: Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon, Clemson University, Boise State University, Temple University, Iowa State University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Washington just to name a few. There is at least one affiliated school in every state. The number of courses available each term is limited.

Community Colleges. Your local community college can be a great resource for seniors and retirees. For example, Bellevue College in Washington State has the TELOS program. It is designed to fit the lifestyle and interests of retirees. TELOS presents a broad range of classes to meet a wide variety of interests. Classes are small and informal. There are no books to buy, no tests to take, just an interesting lecture and discussion once a week for 6-8 weeks. The courses range from Geology of the National Parks, Computer Basics, Baroque Art, The World of Sherlock Holmes, Russian History and Creative writing. This link gives you list of more free college courses offered to seniors.


Outdoor

Road Scholar previously Elderhostel - www.roadscholar.org. This organization has been around since 1975. While you are not staying in hostels, you are not doing five star hotels. These are safe, comfortable, local accommodations designed to give you a feel for the local culture. They have trips that accommodate almost all activity levels with a variety of different activities such as bicycling, rafting, hiking, walking, woodworking, opera, archeology, history. There are trips in the US, and just about anywhere else in the world. There are even intergenerational trips designed for seniors/grandchildren.

Campground Hosts - www.camphost.org. A campground host usually resides in their own RV at the campground they are hosting. They are usually responsible for greeting the guests collecting fees and some cleaning and light maintenance. Typically, the hosts work a certain number of hours 10-20 hours a week to pay for their site after which they are paid an hourly wage. This means they earn $500 - $800 a month in addition their campsite usually with all full hookups. These are available in the National Forests, National Parks or State Parks.


Caregiving

AARP - www.aarp.org. This organization for people age fifty and over was founded in 1958 and has a wealth of information on their website. From financial planning, online career fairs, health and wellness information, travel, caregiving, career change, you get the idea. It also has specific information as to what AARP has going in your state and possibly your city.

Elder Care Resources - www.eldercareresourcesusa.com. Their mission is to empower area seniors, their caregivers and healthcare professionals to obtain the knowledge and resources needed to provide quality care for an aging relative, friend or patient. This website has Elder Care resources for each state. It has a list of National, State and Legal resources. This could be quite helpful as dealing with elder issues can be a legal minefield. It has resources for the Caregivers, expert advice on a range of topics, a variety of free downloads to help choose an assisted living facility, hospice care facility or help with Alzheimer patients, etc.

ElderCare Locator - www.eldercare.acl.gov. This is a website administered by the Federal government as part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is quite easy to use. You enter your zip code and it lists all of the available services for older adults and their families in your area. This includes state and federal services.

Elder Web - www.elderweb.com. Research site for professionals and family members looking for information on aging, eldercare, and long term care, including information on legal, financial, medical and housing issues, policy, research and statistics. This site has national and state information.

Senior Corps - www.nationalservice.gov. Senior Corps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service which consists of Foster Grandparent program which provides a way for seniors to serve children and youth in their communities. Also, it has RSVP which is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people over 55. You can use the skills and talents you've learned over a lifetime or develop new ones to serve in a variety of activities within your community. Also, Senior Companions which provides assistance and friendship to adults having difficulty with daily living tasks such as paying bills. They give families of caregivers a time off from their duties and often provide friendship for their clients.


Pets/Boarding

Rover - www.rover.com. This site connects you with a home for your dog to stay while you are away or with a house sitter to stay with your dog at your home. There are also dog walkers available to walk your dog, doggie dag care homes for just the day and sitters who will come by and check in on your pet during the day. Most of the pet sitters and walkers are in your neighborhood and have undergone background checks. This site has sitters across the country but as with many services of this type the closer you are to a large metropolitan area the more options you have. Your local veterinarian is a good resource, as are dog groomers.


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