Seniors can be ‘ambassadors of hope,’ not victims

Seniors can be ‘ambassadors of hope,’ not victims

A survey by the American Psychiatric Association revealed almost half of Americans worry about catching the coronavirus, and more than a third believe the pandemic is seriously affecting their mental health. Enter Bruce Bruinsma, who thinks seniors are perfectly suited to be role models in managing pandemic-induced anxiety.

“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 the 78-year-old leader of The Retirement Reformation and author of a book by the same title.

Because many of his peers have lived through wars, the Great Depression and other economic collapses, crises and epidemics, Bruinsma has launched the COVID-19 Senior Challenge that urges retirees to “be more than vulnerable, and do more than nothing.”

“Seniors,” he said, “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, a Colorado Springs, Colo. businessman who is chief executive officer of Envoy Financial, launched the faith-based Retirement Reformation movement ( to counter the typical view of retirement as a time for leisure. Now, he said, is the time for seniors to send a “wave of calm reassurance” across the nation in the face of tens of thousands of coronavirus-related deaths and millions of job losses.

Adults and children can benefit from seniors reaching out to neighbors, relatives, church friends, and others in their social circle, and showing younger generations how “trust in God and reliance on him is central to overcoming anxiety in a crisis,” he said. He added seniors can give added purpose to their own lives by being “ambassadors of hope” and sharing their wisdom in person, as social distancing allows, and via social media, video chats and the phone.

Bruce Bruinsma thinks seniors are perfectly suited to be role models in managing pandemic-induced anxiety.