In my recent attendance of the “What’s Next: Boomer Business Summit” in Chicago I decided to spend a couple of days at the NCOA/ASA Aging Conference that followed. As this conference is geared more to educating senior care givers, I found myself observing the business of aging from a different perspective.
One of things that struck me was the use of senior volunteers to assist the largely baby boomer-aged attendees in going from session to session. They (the senior volunteers) were unmistakably deputized with over-sized green sashes prompting attendees to “Ask Me”. Ultimately, they were very helpful (to the extent that they were familiar with the contents of the 300-page phone book that was the conference directory).
My most valuable experience of the conference, though, came over lunch on my last day. While waiting to be served my overpriced hamburger I met one of the volunteers — 81 year old, Walter. Walter and I initially bonded in our frustration over the service and quickly found ourselves in an unexpected discussion over, as he put it, “conferences like these”.