Seniors can be ‘Ambassadors of Hope,’ not ‘Victims,’ as Coronavirus Anxiety Deepens

COLORADO SPRINGS — The founder of a movement to inject purpose into the lives of America’s retirees today challenged seniors to take the lead in the battle against coronavirus-induced anxiety and panic.

A new survey by the American Psychiatric Association revealed almost half of Americans are anxious about catching the coronavirus and more than a third believe the pandemic is seriously affecting their mental health.

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

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 (CDC) acknowledges fear and anxiety about the virus can be “overwhelming” for children and teenagers.

Keep Calm and Carry On“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, Bruinsma said.

Bruinsma, who launched the faith-based Retirement Reformation movement (www.retirementreformation.org) as a counter-punch to the typical view of retirement as a time for leisure, says 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.

With one in every six Americans over the age of 65, there’s enormous potential for seniors to make a difference as the country emerges from the devastating impact of COVID-19, Bruinsma said.

“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.”

The online Retirement Reformation Manifesto — a blueprint for a purposeful retirement — has been signed by more than 1,000 people so far this year.


Read more news on Christian Ministry and the Coronavirus Outbreak on Missions Box.

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About Retirement Reformation

Retirement Reformation (www.retirementreformation.org) was founded to help Christians approach retirement as an opportunity to worship and serve God in new ways, sharing their wisdom, experience and resources. It also assists churches and organizations in maximizing the gifts of a largely untapped constituency by equipping older members and supporters for active involvement in ministry.

CONTACT: Matti Stevenson, 719-360-0586, mstevenson@inchristcommunications.com