Most seniors have retired from their careers or lifelong work, providing them with a lot more free time. As retirees, seniors may find that they long for something to fill their time. They may feel restless without the structure of the career that once motivated them through each day.
Volunteering can be a solution to these problems, as it allows seniors to devote their energy, and as much time as they desire, to a specific cause or organization.
Seniors who volunteer find that they develop new relationships with the people they meet and take pride in showing others that older people can make a significant contribution to society. Studies have shown that volunteering provides positive physical and mental benefits for seniors.
There are many great reasons to volunteer and here are some of the best:
1. Volunteering helps close the generation gap.
It goes without saying that older people have much to offer to society. Who has more life experience than a senior? An 80-year-old has eight decades of experience in life, met numerous people, and witnessed many, many different events. Through volunteering, seniors can share the knowledge they’ve accrued over the course of their lives. The generations can teach and learn from each other!
2. Volunteering improves mental and physical health.
When scientists studied seniors who regularly volunteer, the physical and mental results were impressive. Seniors who were properly trained in their volunteer responsibilities, and were able to organize their time and use their skills efficiently, found that their own sense of purpose and quality of life improved. Social activity and the feeling of being productive improved as well.
3. Feeling freedom.
When seniors volunteer, they recommit to a life purpose. Seniors are less apt to worry about losing their independence or being considered senile. Volunteering helps them to maintain control over their lives for much longer.
4. Volunteering prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases.
The National Institute on Aging has reported in numerous studies that when seniors donate their time to activities that are fun as well as meaningful, the risk of health problems is reduced. For those at risk for the diseases, Dementia and Alzheimer’s can actually be delayed and longevity is given a boost.
By getting out into the world and volunteering, isolation is kicked to the curb, and therefore depression is also fended off more efficiently. It’s that sense of accomplishment that makes all the difference.
If a senior you care for is interested in volunteering, but you don’t know where to start, contact LivHOME. Our experienced caregivers and care managers would be happy to discuss your senior loved one’s option as they age and look to stay active and involved in their communities.