Volunteering provides seniors with so many advantages – benefits that go way beyond the feeling good about oneself. Whether seniors are helping to clean up a park, donating blood, or feeding people at a local soup kitchen, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities where the elderly can do something productive, remain social, and develop a high self-esteem. Here are some of the benefits one derives from volunteer work:
- Sheer Enjoyment – Many seniors find volunteer work entertaining. It allows them to have something to do as they pass the time, and they can do things that are fun and engaging. For instance, a book lover might volunteer at a local library or someone who loves to cook can volunteer at a local soup kitchen. There are many different options, regardless of what makes you happy.
- Social Connections – Volunteer work allows an individual to make friends and to remain socially connected to others. Whether working with Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or the local gardening club, interaction with others allows one to feel important, vital, and engage in mood lifting behaviors.
- Establishing a Legacy – Older people often begin to think about how they have contributed to society and the community. Volunteer work allows the elderly to feel as if they are doing something important by helping others. It is the establishment of a legacy and the concept of who they were that is left behind when they pass away. It gives seniors a sense of purpose and lets them feel as if they have made positive contributions to the world while they are still present.
- Exploring the Horizons – Volunteer work lets the elderly remain active and will help constantly stimulate the mind. It is a time for trying out new things, making new social connections, and expanding one’s horizon through new experiences.
- The Health of the Body, Mind, and Spirit – Volunteer work lowers the risk of developing hypertension, and helps prevent the onset of depression and loneliness. It also helps in improving one’s mood and in reducing the stress one experiences – it is a mind, body, spirit solution.