Volunteering has been shown to benefit older adults in numerous ways, often leading to improved health outcomes, increased social connections, and providing a sense of meaning and purpose. However, knowledge with regards to the volunteer experiences of older adults who belong to ethnocultural minorities is limited. The goal of this study was to explore the pathways, motivations, and experiences of older Jewish adults who volunteer within the Jewish community of Vancouver. Qualitative research methods were utilized, including semi-structured interviews with twenty-one older adult volunteers (age 55+), and two volunteer staff. The findings provide further insight into the pathways, motivations, and experiences of this specific ethnocultural minority, and the unique ways in which Jewish culture influences their volunteer experiences. These findings have potential practice implications for the creation of inclusive, culturally-sensitive volunteer programs for older adults, and how to best recruit and retain older adult volunteers.
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Thesis advisor: Wister, Andrew
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