Find ways to engage seniors in volunteer work

Many retirees have much to contribute in terms of life and/or work experience.

Some have been re-employed as contract staff to support the high cycle of attrition at the workplace. Some others get to travel the world. Yet others find joy in contributing back to society as volunteers ("78 years old and an active volunteer"; last Thursday).

Altruism is alive in Singapore, but sustained volunteerism is a problem, especially when it comes to elderly volunteers.

One possible reason is their suitability to perform the role; another could be the physical demands of the job, which could take their toll on an ageing pair of legs.

The distance the elderly may have to travel to do volunteer work could also be a problem.

There are benefits to maintaining a good number of seniors out there doing their part for our nation and, at the same time, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

I urge the authorities to explore how senior citizens can contribute to society on a regular basis through volunteer work.

Vincent Lim Hai Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'Find ways to engage seniors in volunteer work'. Print Edition | Subscribe