Now that you’re retired, do you find that you have a lot of extra time on your hands? You may have already considered looking for volunteer opportunities, but find yourself asking the question; “what are the benefits of volunteering for seniors?”
Well, the answers may surprise you. In this blog post, we discuss the benefits of volunteering for senior citizens to help you see how you can make a difference in the lives of others while improving your own life.
Helps Prevent Depression
Volunteering on a regular basis will help you get out and explore your community, where people will be relying on your abilities and services. This can give you a sense of responsibility and purpose while encouraging you to engage socially and create friendships. A study showed that adults aged 60 and over who volunteer have lower rates of anxiety and depression, especially those who are older than 65 years of age.
Improve Relationships Between Generations
We all know that students are encouraged to volunteer, which can enhance college applications or resumes. Having seniors who volunteer creates an exciting new opportunity to interact with younger volunteers, even if the work doesn’t cater to younger people. Working alongside younger volunteers can help you develop lasting friendships, have new experiences, and share advice and stories. The generational gap makes it all the more worthwhile!
Promotes Healthy Mental Health
When discussing the health benefits of volunteering for seniors, this is possibly one of the most important — with dementia on the rise, it’s more and more important to guard our minds. According to the National Institute on Aging, volunteering can decrease dementia risk, improve mental health, and increase longevity. Older adults who play a more active role in their communities, whether they look for a local opportunity or a nonprofit, can stay healthy mentally and physically.
Helps You Stay Physically Active
Whether you’re arranging books at your local library, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or walking dogs for the Humane Society, any form of volunteering can keep you physically active. Keeping up with regular exercise and leading an active lifestyle is a great way to prevent a plethora of diseases and injuries. Be sure to look for opportunities that will help keep you energized and encourage you to stay active.
It May Help Spark Old Interests
Are there any old hobbies that you may have forgotten over the years? Volunteering can give you the chance to get back to it. Be sure to volunteer for something that you used to love — for instance, if you miss your old job as a teacher, you may enjoy putting in some time at a local youth center. You can also look into other interests, such as building, painting, business, cooking, exercise, and more.
There are many benefits to using your spare time to volunteer. Luckily, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for senior citizens, too. These will not only help you physically and mentally but will also allow you to make a greater impact on the people and the community around you. So, if you weren’t sure about what to do with the extra time on your hands, consider this the sign you need to get started with becoming a volunteer.