Barbara Fradkin – FLORIDA TODAY
Q: I am a senior and would like a part-time job to supplement my Social Security. Where do I start?
A: Many people over age 50 are raising children (and grandchildren) and helping their aging parents. Not surprisingly, this is putting a big strain on budgets. People are living longer and some seniors realize they need additional income for a financially secure retirement. Currently, three million seniors (or near-seniors) are looking for full-time employment, with millions more looking for part-time work. The good news is that companies are looking to hire “seasoned” workers! And there are programs to help those aged 50 and older find just the right job.
The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) runs a program called Back to Work 50+. This program targets workers who previously worked, but may lack the skill sets for today’s job market. There is also SCSEP, the Senior Community Service Employment Program, a federal initiative to assist older workers. Both programs will train seniors to give them the skills and confidence they need.
Hiring Managers take note: AARP works in conjunction with SCSEP and provides employers with pre-screened, qualified candidates.
Gone are the days of a “rocking chair” retirement. The majority of American workers (55%) plan to continue to work while in retirement. Why? In part for the additional income, but also to stay active, keep their brains sharp and maintain social connections.
So what’s the right job for your retirement? The most common jobs listed by AARP include Home Health Aide (companion care), nanny, school bus driver, paralegal, receptionist and pharmacy technician. Jobs in the healthcare field are readily available, especially Homemaker Companion and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In particular, seniors make great Homemaker Companions because of their compassion and understanding of other seniors.
Carolyn Orlik, One Senior Place Finance and Operations Manager, loves to hire Homemaker Companions to help seniors in the community. She stresses that it does not involve “hands on” care.
“Senior Partner Care Services is always looking for compassionate companions, for seniors who just need a little help with meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping and transportation. Seniors who cannot drive need to get to the doctor and go shopping. And some just enjoy a drive for a change of scenery. Most companion shifts are short, 2 to 4 hours a day, twice a week.”
No matter what type of job you choose, make sure it brings you joy. As Orlik puts it, “Our companions find it rewarding to help someone with the little things they can’t do by themselves anymore. And that has built a lot of friendships.”
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.