Road Scholar Shines the Spotlight on the Contributions of Older Adults
Each May, the contributions of older Americans take center stage as communities across the
country celebrate Older Americans Month. The theme this year is Connect, Create, and Contribute, encouraging older adults and
their communities to connect with friends and family, create activities that
promote learning, health, and personal enrichment, and contribute time, talent
and life-experience to benefit others.
Road Scholar, the world’s largest not-for-profit educational travel organization, has created learning
adventures for older adults for more than 40 years; in fact, the average age of
a returning participant is 72 years old, and a significant number of those are
While 72 might seem old to some, here are a few 72-year-old (and older) men and women who are
changing the world and challenging the notion of what it means to grow older:
- Tao Porchon-Lynch, 99, world’s oldest yoga teacher
- Glenn Close, 72, actress and first time Oscar Winner in 2018
- Joe Biden, 76, former vice-president, and newly announced
Not quite as famous but equally impressive is 99-year-old Road Scholar participant Seymour
Siegel. Seymour recently attended a Road Scholar program in Winter Park,
Florida with his companion, Laura. Now retired, he enjoyed an impressive career
as the former Executive Director of the Jewish Family & Children Service of
Southern New Jersey, and the author of an
Orphan in New York City.
“Road Scholar was founded on the premise that older adults like Mr. Siegel are vital,
integral members of our communities who continue to push the limits of what it
means to grow older in a youth-obsessed culture,” said James Moses, President
and CEO of Road Scholar. “During my 40-year tenure at Road Scholar, I’ve
witnessed the extraordinary capabilities of older Americans who remain engaged,
active members of society. Road Scholar participants know that stimulation,
friendship and camaraderie, and regular exercise, are the tenets of a healthy
older age, and they experience all three on our learning adventures around the
A recent survey confirms that Road Scholars attribute their mental tenacity and physical health
to being active, learning new things, staying connected with friends and
family, and traveling. As 65 million baby boomers reach their 70s and 80s,
expect to see more and more ordinary older Americans doing extraordinary
Americans Are Facing… and Smashing Age-Related Challenges
There are, of course, some challenges with growing older; for example, how to ensure financial stability as one nears
retirement age, as well as the prospect of having to care for ailing parents
and loved ones.
Several years ago, Road Scholar began offering financial assistance for low income adults 50+ who would otherwise not be able
to participate in a learning adventure. In addition, it has expanded its
financial aid to include caregiver grants and awards specifically for
Mary Jo Silva of Burlington, Kentucky was awarded a Road Scholar Caregiver Grant and used it to enroll in a hiking
program at Rocky Mountain National Park. She wanted to get into shape and also
push herself outside of her comfort zone.
“Respite is one word for the trip, but it was also an adventure… I wanted to make a commitment to myself to
get into shape. I look better and feel better because of it. It was a real
confidence builder. This trip was just the right mix of personal challenge and
personal indulgence. I learned a lot about taking care of myself while on the
trails and at high altitudes. The guides were great in celebrating with us as
we reached our personal bests. Thank you kindly to those who made this trip
possible. It is wonderful to see a company recognize the need of the caregiver
Calling All Educators, Caregivers and low-income Adults
This year, Road Scholar is searching for 100 educators, caregivers and low-income adults who wish to experience an
educational learning experience. The organization will award 100 scholarships
worth $1,500 between now and June 30th. All unclaimed awards will go
unused. To apply, please visit the website at: www.roadscholar.org/financialaid.
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