Senior citizens are a crucial part of the volunteer community, donating their time each year to make a difference in their community. According to LeadingAge.com, “More than 20 million senior volunteers give nearly 3 billion hours of service annually, at a value of $67 billion.”
In addition to being an important community resource, studies have also shown that volunteering as a senior citizen is beneficial to your health. Lower depression rates, increased physical abilities, decreased depression and an improved sense of well-being are all benefits of volunteering in your senior citizen years. The National Institute on Aging says that “participating in meaningful, productive activities such as volunteering may lower the risk of health problems, including dementia, and improve longevity.”
When you’re at an age when your lifestyle has changed dramatically, you may be more susceptible to becoming inactive or depressed. You may have retired from a long career, lost your spouse or several friends or developed medical conditions that affect you and limit your mobility or social interactions.
Social interaction is important for a seniors’ health and well being. The National Academy of Sciences found that socially isolated seniors are more likely to experience chronic stress and depression, as well develop conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
When you volunteer your time, you have the opportunity to work in group settings that often provide that much-needed social interaction. You can develop friendships and have conversations with other volunteers.
Volunteering can also keep you more active. Don’t overlook opportunities to volunteer that encourage physical movement as well.
There are many ways to volunteer your time, expertise or talents. If you’ve worked a long career, consider giving back in your industry or mentoring a young professional. If you’re an artist, you could work with organizations that benefit underprivileged youth, teaching classes in art, music or other crafts. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly talented or an expert in any career field, you can still volunteer your time in meaningful ways buy reading to children at a library or school, or at an animal shelter providing some love and care for the animals.
Categorised in: Daily Life