After retirement, it can be difficult to get out, meet people, and improve your self-esteem. Luckily, there are dozens of ways for seniors to volunteer and get active in their communities.
Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors
There are several health benefits of volunteering for seniors, ranging from physical to mental advantages. These can include the following:
Relationships with others
Volunteering provides seniors with the opportunity to interact with younger people, even if the volunteer work does not directly serve youth. Research shows that maintaining your health as you age involves being social. Since many adults stop working and isolate themselves as they age, volunteering can ensure long-lasting relationships.
Volunteering can reduce stress, reverse diminishing brain function, and decrease blood pressure. It can even improve your mood. Seniors may become more physically active, which prevents injuries and slows overall physical decline.
Helping other people improves hormone levels. It can also deliver immense happiness. According to a study from Wharton College, “Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more).”
Volunteer Ideas for Seniors
There are many reasons why seniors should volunteer, but what can seniors do? Is age a factor for performing certain duties? The answer for the latter question is, no, age is not a factor. As a matter of fact, the only limit seniors have may be their physical abilities and interests. Some volunteer ideas include:
Working with your local animal shelter
Animal lovers will feel a sense of love and responsibility when caring for furry friends. When you care for an animal, you will instantly see the results of your labor as their behaviors change. There are plenty of animals that need help and/or a home.
Becoming a foster grandparent
Foster grandparents tutor children and mentor teens. There are young people around the world that need role models and positive relationships with older adults. You could even provide support for children with disabilities.
Being a board member
Find a nonprofit that interests you and contact them to learn how to become a board member. Working on a board allows you to make a bigger community-wide impact. Use your experiences to aid in the decision making process with one of your favorite volunteer organizations.
Looking for other volunteer opportunities? Here are more resources: