The benefits of volunteering can be extremely strong for seniors. Mental and physical health can improve. It offers a way for someone who is starting to feel isolated to get out of their home and participate in the community. It can have a tremendous impact on the individual as well as the organization.
April is National Volunteer Month. It’s a time to honor volunteers in our communities, as well as to encourage volunteerism. There are millions of volunteers nationwide who are 65 and older. This age group is projected to go from 48 million to 80 million between now and 2050, and with that growth comes the potential for more volunteers.
Some Basic Ideas for Volunteering
Volunteering can take many forms. Here are a few that are common for seniors.
- Work in food banks or soup kitchens
- Labor jobs, such as building a home or cleaning up a park
Below are a few of the benefits of volunteering
It’s Good for Our Mental Health – Staying active and using our brains can help delay the onset of cognitive issues, memory loss, or lack of motor function. It can help to prevent or decrease the symptoms of depression. Volunteering offers a sense of fulfillment that can boost your mental well-being.
Learn a New Skill – Maybe there’s a skill you always wanted to learn but never got around to it in your younger, professional years. Seniors can pick this skill up through volunteering hours. If you were always interested in history, you could volunteer at the museum. If you always loved to read, you could read to at-risk youth. You get the idea.
Keep Busy – Retirement is an exciting time in your life, but it can be troubling to have a completely empty calendar. Volunteering can keep you busy and feeling fulfilled. It’s an opportunity to contribute something to the world.
Volunteering is an excellent way for seniors to spend their time. National Volunteer Month is an excellent time to examine your volunteering and determine if there is an organization that you’d like to give your time to. The benefits of volunteering are tough to ignore – especially for this older age group. What opportunities are out there and relevant for you?