Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors
It’s well-known that volunteering positively impacts your community, but it also holds surprising health benefits and is a great way to increase your overall wellness. So if you’re searching for new ways to enrich your retirement, look at these eight benefits of volunteering for seniors, and find ideas on how you can get started making a difference in your community.
1. Feel Greater Sense of Purpose
When you’ve spent most of your life working and raising a family, it’s difficult to find a sense of purpose during retirement. Volunteering offers a way to be part of something greater than yourself and can provide you with a renewed sense of purpose. Try lending a helping hand at an elementary school or getting involved in wildlife protection at your nearest national park.
2. Improve Your Self-Esteem
Some of the best benefits of volunteering for seniors are deep feelings of pride and accomplishment, which lead to an overall improvement in self-esteem. When you feel better about yourself, you’re more likely to have a positive outlook on life and future retirement goals. You can feel accomplished by helping maintain a community garden or by joining your local Habitat for Humanity.
3. Get Closer to Your Community
Feeling close to your community and finding others who share your interests can make you feel valued; it can also motivate you to keep exploring new volunteer opportunities that improve your community. At Laurel Circle, we invite independent living residents to volunteer their time and brighten the day of those in assisted living and memory care in The Arbor at Laurel Circle. Put a smile on someone’s face by playing an instrument or sharing a special hobby.
4. Increase Your Social Opportunities
One of the top benefits of volunteering for seniors is the opportunity to create meaningful social relationships. Joining others and working as a team to accomplish a goal that serves something greater than yourself can help you build lasting bonds with your fellow volunteers. Join LGBTQ+ seniors in creating an equal world by volunteering at SAGE, a national advocacy and services organization dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ seniors since 1978.
5. Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Volunteering improves your physical health, because it gets you out of the house and on the move. Whether you’re walking to read books to residents in assisted living or memory care, or helping a local food pantry, volunteering requires your body to stay active. At our senior living community, you can burn a few extra calories by volunteering to help customers at the community gift shop at Laurel Circle or by signing up for our many other on- and off-site volunteer opportunities.
6. Lower Your Stress Levels
Volunteering increases positive, relaxed feelings, which causes your body to produce more dopamine. This leads to lower stress levels, decreased feelings of depression, reduced anxiety, and better overall mental health. Fortunately, so does the creative process! You can combine your creative side and passion for volunteering with activities like donating homemade quilts, creating floral arrangements for a sick neighbor, or baking holiday cookies for the caregivers in a senior living community.
7. Learn Something New
Retirement is a wonderful time to work on your current skills and seek new experiences. Volunteer organizations are filled with kind people who are ready to teach you everything you need to know to succeed at helping their cause. You can learn how to work a cash register or new technology, or improve your communication skills, organizational and problem-solving skills. Many volunteer organizations are searching for writers, speakers and instructors to help promote their cause.
8. Share Your Skills with a Younger Generation
Volunteering can help bridge generation gaps by allowing you to share your wisdom and skills and younger people to refresh your perspective on life. The wisdom you share can help a young person land a job interview, complete a college application essay, or simply give them a little more direction in life and help you feel a greater sense of purpose and meeting. Intergenerational volunteer opportunities include lunch events, trivia parties, or skill-swapping sessions during which you teach each other your favorite hobbies.
Find the Lifestyle You’ve Been Looking for at Laurel Circle
From energizing volunteer opportunities to Happy Hours, there’s never a dull moment at Laurel Circle. To learn more about our senior living community in Bridgewater, NJ, contact our residency counselors online or sign up for one of our events. We’d love to have you join us!