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Could Volunteering Payoff? – How Volunteer Retirees Benefits Everyone!

As a retiree, you have a lot to give. Don’t think so? Consider this: because you’re retired, you likely have time and that alone is extremely valuable. You also have decades of personal and professional knowledge to bestow on others. If you’re looking for a way to put these amazing qualities to use, get active in your community and get so much more in return.

 

Benefits of Volunteering

Living a Longer Life:Several studies have shown that senior citizens who volunteer live longer lives and report fewer health problems from disabilities. These studies have been conducted on varying groups starting with as young as 50 to well over 70 and the results pointed to an increase of both life and quality of life.

Reduce Isolation and Depression: As we age, it can sometimes be more difficult to socialize. Volunteering offers a way to break out of the isolation you can find yourself in when friends and loved ones move or pass away.

Quality Time: While volunteering may seem as if it’s taking up your time, it could very well make your time feel more fulfilling. New experiences and staying active tend to make time seem longer in a positive way and volunteering can provide this benefit to seniors.

Help Connecting with Different Age Groups: While staying connected with your peers is important, volunteering may help you stay in touch with younger people as well. Not only will you be able to help them with your years of experience, you may find you get just as much in return thanks to their youthful outlook.

Encourages Exercise: Even if your volunteer position isn’t highly physical, simply having to go to a place to volunteer and do simple tasks is often an improvement in physical activity over what many people get.

 

Volunteer Ideas for Seniors

Ready to take on volunteering for yourself? Here are some top ideas for seniors to volunteer:

Become a Museum Guide: Have a love of art or history? A museum could offer you an exciting opportunity to be around the artifacts you love while getting to bestow your knowledge on a wide audience.

Volunteer at the Library: Libraries often offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities including reading to children, running book sales and helping with special events.

Work with Animals: Animal shelters are always in need of volunteers and are the perfect way to connect with new people and furry friends.

Help Feed People: Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, churches and many other organizations are focused on feeding people and can present a great volunteer opportunity. Consider this option especially if you have cooking experience, though that isn’t typically a requirement.

Join a Seniors Volunteer Group: If you don’t have a specific type of volunteering you’re committed to or would like to specifically work with an organization focused on seniors, consider one of the following:

  • Seniors Helping Seniors: This program provides a variety of services and reference materials to seniors and runs on the help of senior volunteers who help with phone calls, emails and other communication.
  • The Senior Companion Program: Connect with fellow seniors who may not be as mobile or physically healthy as you are with this program that seeks to bring seniors together.
  • Foster Grandparents: Lend your wisdom and guidance to children through tutoring and mentorship. Geared towards disadvantaged youth, this program operates in a variety of settings such as schools, juvenile detention centers and hospitals.

 

For even more ways to stay connected to volunteer opportunities, consider moving to a lifeplan community like The Cedars of Chapel Hill. Cedars offers a unique opportunity for active seniors to connect with their peers and live a full and healthy lifestyle. With a wide range of cultural attractions in the area along with planned activities in the community, Cedars offers dozens of volunteer opportunities and connections. Learn more about life at the Cedars.

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