Management of Aging Services

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An example of research created by our Management of Aging Services Cohort:
“Volunteerism in the Aging Population”
April M. Melton, Monica C. Talcott
Assistant Professor Laura Ting

The purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of volunteerism among the aging population. Research has shown that volunteering is important and beneficial to a person’s mental well being and physical health. However many retirees do not participate in volunteer activities. The goal and research question was to explore the motivation behind volunteering or not volunteering in the over-65 age group, as well as benefits and disincentives associated with volunteering. A qualitative study with a grounded study approach was conducted with 40 men and women over-65 from diverse racial, ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds to explore any differences or similarities in their motivations. Data were collected, transcribed, and analyzed using line-by-line coding. Themes that emerged indicated personal barriers (ill health, family responsibilities, and disinterest) and structural barriers (transportation, finances, and agency organization) to volunteering. Reasons to volunteer included maintaining social connections and mental health, having choices, feeling obligated, and being personally rewarded. Clinical implications for practitioners working with the elderly will be discussed. Implications for future research and program planning including new policies and efforts to recruit and retain volunteers will be presented.

This research was funded by an Undergraduate Research Award from the UMBC Office of Undergraduate

Meet a research student:

Benefits for Management of Aging Services’ students:

  • Work with a faculty member
  • Experience hands-on research
  • Reinforce classroom learning
  • Prepare for work or graduate school
  • Travel to national conferences
  • Receive grant funding
  • Publish independent research

Design for the Future of Aging:
See our video for Project 2061 @ URCAD

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For more information, check out this department’s website:
Management of Aging Services