Senior Volunteers: 5 Reasons to Volunteer
Several months ago, I did a three-part series on ways for seniors to be physically and mentally active. One way I shared was to volunteer. Serving others benefits both the server and the party being served. Too often we think of volunteering as an activity for teenagers and young adults. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Seniors can benefit from volunteering their time and skills. Today, I am sharing 5 benefits seniors can derive from being a volunteer.
Mental Health– Many studies, reports Sarah Stevenson, show “that participating in … meaningful, productive activities such as volunteering may lower the risk of health problems in seniors, including dementia, as well as improving longevity.”
Physical Activity – Angelo Medel cited in 2016 that seniors who volunteer enjoy better health and experience fewer instances of “high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.”
A sense of Purpose – Julia Little, in The Sunrise Blog, notes that seniors who volunteer experience greater degrees of satisfaction, especially after a task is completed. Also, they were proud of making a positive impact in their communities.
Increased Satisfaction & Emotional Well-being– Bernie Wong cited a study in The Gerontologist that seniors who volunteered experienced significant gains in” self-esteem, personal growth, and social activity.”
Reduces Depression– In June of this year, UAMS Caregiving reported that “according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, seniors who volunteer experience greater life satisfaction and develop a sense of purpose and accomplishment which decreases stress and lowers the rates of depression.”
I’m positive there are other benefits seniors can experience from volunteering. It’s nice to feel needed and contribute to a cause, no matter how great or small. I encourage you, young or old, to look at your community and find opportunities to volunteer or just be available to help your neighbor next door.