Volunteering is a great way to stay active and engaged in your community. As we celebrate Older Americans Month, there is a special focus on why giving back is so beneficial for seniors, but volunteering is good for everyone!
Making a Difference
According to the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging, volunteering for as little as two hours per week can lead to improved mental, physical, and emotional health. Older volunteers contribute almost twice as much time as any other age group.
Countless studies have shown that volunteering can lead to improved health (both physical and mental) and a stronger sense of purpose. In fact, older volunteers typically report greater satisfaction with their lives than non-volunteers report. Volunteering builds new relationships and provides an opportunity to learn or build new skills. For example, if you’ve always wanted to try your hand at writing, perhaps there is an opportunity collect stories or create training documents for a cause you believe in. The possibilities are endless!
Where Will You Volunteer?
Volunteering offers an opportunity to support the causes you care about. Do you want to help children learn to read? Are you interested in helping maintain local parks? Do you want to walk dogs at the local animal shelter? There are plenty of ways to get involved with as little or as much of a time commitment as you would like.
Churches and other community organizations often have a variety of service needs. You can give back and reap the benefits of getting more involved in the community—it’s a win-win!
You can find several resources, including a self-assessment and websites that list volunteer projects for older Americans, here. The AARP also has a website that provides volunteer resources and opportunities.
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