One current area of special emphasis for Rotary clubs focuses on providing "new opportunities for the aging." In 1990, the R.I. Board of Directors urged Rotarians to identify new projects serving the elderly that emphasize intergenerational activities and the integration of seniors into society and the workplace. The following year, the board called for an approach that stressed service "with" the elderly as well as "for" them. With the substantial upswing in the worldwide population of older persons, their needs for special attention have greatly multiplied. As citizens grow older, it becomes increasingly important for them to retain their personal independence and to remain in control of their own lives to the extent this is possible. Many Rotary clubs are seeking ways to serve the older persons of their community who face problems of deteriorating health, loneliness, poor nutrition, transportation difficulties, inability to do customary chores, loss of family associations, reduced recreational opportunities, inadequate housing and limited information about available social agencies for emergency assistance. Some clubs have initiated a valuable community service to assist older persons in retirement planning and adjustment by organizing and sharing the wealth of information available within the club's membership. Other clubs have developed foster grandparent programs and other intergenerational activities that allow seniors to use their experience and knowledge to help young people. Rotarians often can provide services which seniors can no longer do for themselves. The greatest need of aging individuals is frequently a mere expression of real caring and concern by thoughtful friends. All Rotarians should seriously consider how they and their clubs might actively participate in programs for the aging. It is one area of community service in which there is a growing possibility that each of us may some day be on the receiving end.
 
 
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