Learn How Volunteering Keeps Older Adults Healthier

April 9, 2018

National Volunteer WeekIn honor of National Volunteer Week, Legacy Senior Living shares the benefits of volunteering during retirement and tips to connect with a meaningful opportunity.

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy leisure activities. A time to pursue new hobbies and reconnect with those left behind during the busy days of child rearing and a demanding career. It’s also a good time to consider the benefits of volunteering, giving you purpose while promoting your health.

An estimated nine million seniors volunteer every year. Seniors who volunteer just eight or nine hours a month have better mental and physical health than their peers who don’t volunteer. Experts say the benefits of volunteering may be to help seniors avoid the dangers of isolation and live with a sense of purpose that leads to a more physically active lifestyle.

In honor of National Volunteer Week April 15–22, we are sharing how volunteering your time and talent for an organization you believe in can help you stay healthier and happier.

The Senior Volunteer: Health Benefits of Volunteering

Most volunteers say that they get more out of volunteering than they give. This is something we hear often from the volunteers who are a part of the Legacy Senior Living communities throughout the Southeast.

We know that volunteering also helps older adults in many ways:

  • Building a new circle of friends, which is often tough to do in retirement years.
  • Learning new skills and continuing to use those already honed during their past career.
  • Boosting self-esteem and confidence.
  • Socializing and staying engaged with their community.
  • Avoiding isolation and loneliness, which can both contribute to poor health.
  • Increasing feelings of happiness and joy in daily life.
  • Staying active and more physically fit.

It’s a list that adds up to a win-win experience for seniors and the organization they volunteer their time with.

How can you find a volunteer opportunity during retirement years?

We have some ideas you might find helpful.

Finding a Meaningful Volunteer Opportunity

Here are a few tips for connecting with a volunteer opportunity:

  • Think about your interests: Have you always wanted to help rescue and rehabilitate animals? A humane society or animal shelter might be a good place to start your search. Do you have a passion for arts and crafts? Senior living communities like Legacy are always looking for volunteers to help organize classes and workshops for residents. Think about the things you enjoy doing and look for an organization that complements your skills.
  • Call your local United Way: Most local United Way chapters maintain a database of local agencies that are seeking volunteers. They can help match you with a volunteer opportunity that sounds appealing.
  • Online volunteer database: Another way to find a volunteer opportunity near you is by visiting an online matching service. Sites like VolunteerMatch and Create the Good walk you through a series of questions to help you find a local volunteer project that meets your criteria.

Thanking Our Volunteers

On behalf of the Legacy Senior Living staff, residents, and families, we would like to thank the volunteers who help enrich our communities every day. We appreciate having you as a part of our team!