Over the next 30 years, the number of Americans older than 65 is expected to double from its current 35 million, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging. What’s more, many people are expected to continue working beyond 65, either because Social Security checks alone won’t make financial ends meet or because they just like to work.

For employers, that’s good news. Beyond the legal requirements to accommodate elderly workers lies opportunity for those organizations with an experienced work force. When researching this issue’s cover story (“Working with Age”) housekeeping managers told me that their older workers are a vital source of knowledge and information.

Other plusses of the over-65 age group: They often are more willing to work different schedules, they serve as mentors for workers with less experience, they have a higher retention rate, and, generally, they are more productive.

Employing an aging work force brings invaluable knowledge, diversity, reliability and experience to the workplace. Accommodating and employing aging workers is one way to improve teamwork and morale, which can foster success in any cleaning department.