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Retirees encouraged to get involved during pandemic

Retirees are getting a bad rap during the pandemic when they often are the ones best-suited to helping others, according to a Christian leader.

“Seniors are often portrayed in the media as ‘vulnerable victims’ of the coronavirus, when we’ve actually come through many crises as survivors and thrivers,” said 78-year-old Bruce Bruinsma, leader of The Retirement Reformation and author of the book by the same title.

Many retirees have lived through wars, depressions, economic collapses and other crises and epidemics, Bruinsma said. He launched the COVID-19 Senior Challenge that urges retirees to “be more than vulnerable and do more than nothing.”

READ: Seniors and the tax increase on retirement accounts

The challenge to seniors comes as a new report casts the spotlight on how coronavirus anxiety is seriously affecting teens, and the Centers for Disease Control acknowledges that’s fear and anxiety about the virus can be overwhelming for children and teenagers.

“Seniors bring a huge wealth of strength and positivity from the deep wells of their own personal experiences — both good and bad — and that’s what we need right now to calm people’s fears,” Bruinsma said.

By reaching out to neighbors, family members, church friends and others in their social circle, seniors can show younger generations how “trust in God and reliance on him is central to overcoming anxiety in a crisis.”

They can be “ambassadors of hope” in person, as social distancing allows, and also share their experiences and wisdom with others on Facebook, Zoom video chat and over the phone, he said.

Bruinsma, who launched the faith-based Retirement Reformation movement (www.retirementreformation.org) to counter the typical view of retirement as a time for leisure, said now is the time for seniors to send a “wave of calm reassurance” across the nation, rocked by more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths and millions of job losses.

“This is truly our time, our hour, to help our nation overcome this crisis,” he added. “Find out what you can do — and do it.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice


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