The AARP Foundation is a Social Enterprise
Most people know that AARP helps retired people live fuller lives. As a whole, the company is a social enterprise providing advocacy, health and employment resources, and education for seniors aged 50 and over. What many people may not know is that AARP also has a foundation dedicated to improving the lives of seniors. According to its mission statement, the AARP Foundation “serves vulnerable people 50+ by creating and advancing effective solutions that help them secure the essentials.
The Foundation recognizes that Americans age 50 and over are under a great deal of pressure. They have unexpected choices. They may be facing more issues than any other age group.
Older workers have seen the largest increase in long-term unemployment in recent years. Their times of joblessness are the longest of any age group. As we age, we become less likely to find a job. Many seniors must live paycheck to paycheck, often with no available retirement. For older Americans, uncertainty is the new normal. Seniors spend their lives working hard, paying taxes, contributing to society, and often serving in the military or in other ways. After all this, many older Americans find themselves facing overwhelming odds and choices they never could have prepared for. In the face of this urgent need, the AARP Foundation is a social enterprise stepping up to provide solutions.
Areas of Service
The Foundation works with local organizations and national programs to help initiatives grow. The group focuses on three key areas for seniors facing obstacles to quality of life:
- Direct Assistance: The Foundation works with local groups, including government, nonprofit, and corporate entities, to provide direct assistance. This assistance includes the essentials of food, housing, income and personal connection. Personal connection is as vital as any other area, since seniors often suffer from loneliness and depression.
- Legal Advocacy: The Foundation protects the legal rights of seniors in court. Seniors often need assistance accessing their rights. Legal battles include those for retirement, health care and consumer issues.
- Raising Awareness: Low-income seniors are easy for policymakers to overlook. The Foundation uses its media power to make people aware of the problems older Americans face. Awareness can be a first step towards finding a solution.
Keeping Their Focus
AARP is one of the most recognizable social enterprise companies. Their AARP Foundation works to solve many of the problems older Americans face. The Foundation provides direct assistance to seniors facing food, housing, and economic insecurity. It also advocates in the courts to make seniors aware of their rights and help with claiming them. Finally, the AARP Foundation raises awareness for policymakers, leaders, and private citizens. Many people do not know or understand the challenges seniors face. By raising awareness, the Foundation is able to work with groups and volunteers to offer solutions. In everything the AARP Foundation does, the group keeps its focus on helping older Americans with the many challenges they face.