Volunteering is a great way for seniors who are physically and mentally able to support their communities and give back. Many local organizations are always looking for volunteers. Let’s take a look at why and how seniors volunteer.
Reasons to Volunteer
Socialization Through volunteering, seniors interact with people who have similar interests to them. They gain an increased amount of socialization which can prevent isolation. Volunteering gives seniors common ground with, not only other seniors, but younger people who volunteer as well. The generational gap can often be bridged through volunteer work, because individuals from different generations are able to talk, gain perspective on each other’s lives, and appreciate what they have in common with one another.
Exercise Volunteering combines both social and physical activities. So not only is volunteering beneficial in getting seniors up and moving around, but it can also benefit their brain health as well. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, combining social and physical activities with good nutrition could help maintain or even improve brain health better than any one single activity.
Purpose After any number of life changes, many seniors find themselves feeling like they are lacking a sense of purpose in life. Through volunteering opportunities, seniors are able to give back to their community and contribute to a greater cause, which creates feelings of accomplishment and purpose. Volunteering helps raise seniors’ self-esteem and boost their happiness.
Live Longer Through good deeds and through helping others, good feelings are created in volunteers. One study found that helping others regularly through volunteer-type activities can reduce one’s mortality rate by 22 percent, compared with people who do not participate in the same types of activities.
Volunteer Resources Many places offer volunteer opportunities specifically geared toward seniors. Check the following websites if you or your loved one are looking for ways that you can volunteer and make a difference in your community:
- AARP – Find Volunteer Opportunities in Your Community
- org – Volunteer Resource Center
- Senior Corps
- Posted by Dawn Owens, The Cottages Blog – The Cottages Assisted Living, on Aug 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM