Vitality - Healthy Aging NewsletterSpring 2013

Share and Teach What You Know

Before retiring, Katie Hauck was an elementary school and family counselor. Now she tutors children and volunteers at a school through Rotary.

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Playing cardsHer husband, retired Group Health pediatrician Bob Hauck, MD, teaches parents at Group Health and other pediatric clinics on topics such as child discipline.

Gerald Seligman, MD, retired Group Health orthopedic surgeon, started a part-time position after retirement that utilizes his skills as a doctor. He evaluates impairment ratings of injured workers and gives advice on legal issues regarding motor vehicle accidents.

By the time we reach retirement age, we have accumulated a wealth of wisdom and experience from careers, hobbies, and lifelong interests. Like these three members, many of us find it rewarding to share our expertise through paid or volunteer positions. If you think you have nothing to offer, think again. We often take for granted what we know.

In addition to other volunteer activities, Katie Hauck also shares her love of cards and cooking with others. "I'm a good bridge player, so I play with people with lesser skills to encourage them to do better," she says. “I also take a lot of culinary classes, and then cook for friends and tell them what I’ve learned.”

Jean Nokes-Ghivizzani used to raise Arabian horses, and now rides two dressage horses daily and teaches horseback riding. She and her husband also host meetings for people interested in walking the Camino de Santiago — the 1,200-year-old pilgrimage across France and Spain. “This is such an amazing experience that we want to share it with others,” she says.

Diane Timm has a passion for history that led her to research her own family tree. That passion now fuels her work as a docent at a historical museum. “I find it very satisfying, and love to share what I know with anyone interested in doing family research,” she says.

To get started, think about what you’d like to do. Want to teach? Consider a part-time position as visiting faculty, student counselor, or personal tutor.

Like children? Work or volunteer at an elementary school. Have a hobby or special interest? Offer a class at a community college or senior center on how to use a computer, design a garden, set up a business, downsize into assisted living, handle finances, or take care of yourself when caring for others.

The opportunities are endless. You can find plenty of ideas by browsing online retirement sites such as, talking with old colleagues and friends, and checking out possibilities in your community. Keep it simple. You may not even need to look further than your own backyard.

“When my great grandchild was 4 weeks old, we met with our grandchildren to answer questions about their new baby,” says Dr. Hauck. “It’s very rewarding knowing that my family can benefit from my experience.”

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