Retirement: Make a Difference Like Robin

Robin is a 70-year-old grandmother who retired from a career in healthcare. She came out of retirement and literally dove into an opportunity to save lives in her community.

Her fascinating story made national news. I read it soon after I listened to a presentation from Dr. Ken Dychtwald, founder of Age Wave. He shared statistics showing retirees watch an average of 47 hours of TV a week and only 24% of retirees volunteer.

Dr. Dychtwald spoke about how younger generations often think of retirees as those needing help. Then he spoke about changing the younger generation’s mindset: Encouraging retirees to volunteer with and mentor interns at work, perhaps find a job, or even do something else that fits their interests.

By tapping into their personal vault of experience and skills, retirees can serve as a valuable resource for the younger generations.

Robin lives in a community vulnerable to violence and crime, with a need to keep kids safe and off the streets.

As summer approached, city officials and the Parks and Recreation Department needed to quickly recruit lifeguards so they could open the swimming pools giving kids a safe place to be. They issued a plea for applicants.

Robin was a lifeguard when she was younger and loved it. Having witnessed deadly violence in her neighborhood, Robin applied and was soon back in a lifeguard’s chair with a whistle around her neck.

She was one of about 16 seniors aged 50 or older hired to help open pools this summer.

A young lifeguard with Robin

When some of her younger counterparts questioned her age and capabilities, Robin used the opportunity to talk about how older generations can be role models for other generations.

A reader from a neighboring community said, “Seniors can do so much. She’s a fitting example of how it’s never too late.”

Robin is an example of what Dr. Dychtwald was referring to. Her vault of experience includes skills and knowledge, and her heart prompted her to make a commitment to create a safe environment within her community.

Not all of us can or want to be a lifeguard. But we should consider how we can be utilized to make a difference both in the lives of others and in our communities.  What’s in your personal vault?

It’s never too late to be like Robin!

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