There are many areas people look to as they attempt to stay active and purposeful in their lives with age, and one of these is the realm of volunteering. Volunteering your time to help others is often one of the most rewarding pursuits a person can take, and many seniors or others at retirement age find that increasing their participation in these kinds of areas serves not only others, but also themselves in many ways.
At Avamere at Mountain Ridge, our assisted living communities feature a huge range of programs or activities our guests can participate in, and various forms of volunteering are regular options we encourage many of our guests to take advantage of. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over everything seniors should know about volunteering — why it’s beneficial, some of the formats you may consider, and some helpful tips for getting started.
Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors
Giving time to others can come with several specific benefits, including to seniors and those at older ages. Here are a few to consider:
- Fostering new connections: Whether you choose to volunteer in a professional or personal capacity, volunteering is an excellent way to expand your network and meet new people. Many groups or organizations will often offer the chance for volunteers to form bonds with each other and work together on regular projects – friendships can certainly be formed in this way!
- Improving life skills: When you take on a volunteering role, you’re also likely to end up learning or improving various skills along the way. For instance, if you choose to help out with office work for a local nonprofit, you could improve your familiarity and comfort level with computers and various forms of technology.
- Feeling needed and appreciated: In addition to the great feeling of doing something for another person, many seniors find that taking on a volunteering role allows them to feel truly needed again. Especially if you’ve retired from the workforce and taken on more of a leisurely schedule, this is an excellent way to again feel fulfilled.
- Health benefits: In addition, research has shown that both life satisfaction and mental well-being improve when people give their time to others. Volunteering has even been linked with lower rates of depression and anxiety, as well as a reduced risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
How Seniors Can Volunteer
There are several broad options for seniors looking to volunteer their time:
- Assisted living community activities: For those in assisted living communities like ours at Avamere, there are often plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities that give back. Our communities frequently put together groups to visit local hospitals or nursing homes, for instance, to provide company and conversation for patients or residents there.
- Local charities: In addition, many charities will have programs specifically designed for volunteers of all ages, and some may even offer transport to and from your home.
- Civic or public service groups: If you have skills in an area that can be put to use for the community, such as carpentry work or gardening help, consider looking into a local civic group – these are often very welcoming and appreciate any assistance they can get!
No matter what form volunteering takes, it’s important to remember that this is a great way to stay active, connected, and purposeful in your senior years. Look for opportunities around you and take full advantage of the benefits volunteering can give!
For more on this, or to learn about any of our senior living community programs and services, speak to the caring staff with Avamere at Mountain Ridge today.