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Seniors and Volunteerism: The Benefits

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November 2, 2019

Blog

• BY

Avanti

Avanti Senior Living - Grandmother and Daughter - Assisted living communities

Volunteering is rewarding. It makes you feel like you are accomplishing something, giving back to the community, and helping people. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to meet people, make new friends and get out of the house. Whether you are the one volunteering with seniors, or you are a senior volunteering your own time, everyone can feel a sense of reward and accomplishment.

VOLUNTEER WORK WITH SENIORS

Your abundant life experiences are essential and have helped make up everything you are today. You can imagine how many valuable stories, life lessons and experiences your elderly loved ones can share with you. When you spend time volunteering with seniors, you and they will benefit from the communication, companionship and learning experiences that often come with volunteering.

One of the most significant things you can do for someone who may be lonely or who may have recently made a move to a senior living community and is embracing the new experience is to share some quality time together. Whether you are visiting a neighbor, a friend, or a loved one, volunteering your time is more important that you can know. Some seniors’ health prevents them from getting out and socializing, so they tend to feel isolated. Having someone visit and spend time with them increases their mood and well-being. You can even offer to run errands for those seniors who can no longer drive.

When volunteering, discover their skills, passions, and interests. Engaging them will make them feel important and boost their self-worth. Bring along a photo album, scrapbook or journal to log the memories. This memory book will help keep memories alive for your loved ones.

VOLUNTEER WORK FOR SENIORS

Seniors have a lifetime of experience that can help mentor younger generations, provide career guidance, and offer friendship and care. Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org) helps seniors find places to volunteer locally that are posted by charities and nonprofits.

Volunteering is not only rewarding, but it encourages positive physical and mental health and helps seniors engage in activities significant to them. Volunteerism promotes positive social relationships and contributes to a positive image of seniors as a healthy and vital part of our society by showing they are active, engaged and essential to our community.

The National Institute on Aging has shown that participating in social activities as well as meaningful activities such as volunteering may lower the risk of health problems, including dementia in seniors, and improve longevity and well-being. Being a volunteer can improve cognitive health by keeping the brain and the body active, and can help prevent isolation and depression that many seniors feel.

When seniors volunteer, they experience a sense of purpose and accomplishment and the joy that comes from knowing they are using their unique set of skills and a lifetime of experience to help others. Volunteerism brings people together and promotes personal growth and self esteem. The team at Avanti Senior Living encourages their residents to volunteer in activities or issues they are passionate about. Residents enjoy the complete freedom to create their own daily schedule and to engage in new adventures, including volunteerism, every day!

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