Many U.S. seniors choose to rejoin the workforce in their retirement years and spend time giving back to the community. Working is a great way for seniors to stay active and financially independent, but many individuals run into obstacles on the road to employment. Some seniors face age discrimination, or have gaps in their recent work history that make it difficult to find a high-paying job. A 2015 AARP study found that it takes seniors longer to find a job and that they typically earn less and work fewer hours than at previous jobs. Luckily, there are plenty of resources that can help Madison area residents to find local, senior-friendly work.
If you’re a senior who is looking for work, you’re not alone in your search. There are government programs, independent organizations and websites that are all geared towards helping job-seeking seniors. For those interested in quick information or advice on how to find work, the AARP website hosts a Work & Jobs channel with educational articles, video lessons and a convenient job search function. You can also find links to additional online resources and other job hunting sites for seniors.
Madison residents can learn about local employment options and volunteer opportunities by visiting the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County at 2865 North Sherman Avenue or by speaking with a representative toll-free at (855) 417-6892. You can find out more about paid employment opportunities for seniors or sign up as a volunteer with programs such as the Foster Grandparent Program, where seniors mentor youth with special needs, or the Senior Companion Program, where participants provide company and assistance to housebound seniors. The Wisconsin Retired and Senior Volunteer Program can help to match you with the perfect volunteer opportunity.
Seniors that are over the age of 55, unemployed and living on a limited income may be eligible to join the Wisconsin Senior Employment (WISE) Program. This program provides live, on-the-job training to help seniors build and hone skills that are relevant in today’s job market. Participants can shape themselves into a valuable worker while making a part-time income in a field such as IT, education, retail, hospitality and more.
The WISE program only provides eligible individuals with work for a limited period of time. Afterwards, the candidate will have a strong enough resume to find full-time or part-time work outside of the program. If you are interested in joining WISE, you can contact the Madison Older Worker Coordinator for more information by visiting the Dane County Job Center at 1819 Aberg Avenue or by calling (608) 242 4897.
Veterans and disabled veterans living in the Madison area are hired preferentially over non-veterans for federal jobs and are also given priority over other employees during layoffs. The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program and the Local Veterans Employment Representatives are two Wisconsin state programs that help veterans to train for jobs and find employment in their field.
Seniors that don’t work but instead provide caregiving services to a loved one may not have to do so for free. If you are a low-income caregiver, you may be eligible to receive financial aid through Medicaid, the VA Aid & Attendance pension, or long-term care insurance. Local support programs such as the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program can teach informal caregivers how to get paid and manage care expenses.
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