One of the most popular volunteer opportunities that individuals take part in is helping out at senior living facilities. The interaction is great for the physical and mental health of older adults. However, research has found that it is also beneficial for older adults in retirement to engage in volunteerism, as well.
In addition to the benefits of giving back to their communities and the causes they care about, volunteering offers some seriously awesome pros for senior citizens. Here are some of the greatest benefits older adults can experience from volunteering:
- Creating a bridge for the generation gap: Each generation comes with a list of stereotypes, but volunteering provides the opportunity for individuals from a variety of generations to gather together for a common cause. This collaboration bridges the gap between generations, increasing camaraderie and encouraging understanding.
- Improved mental health: Keeping your brain healthy is essential at any age, but it’s especially important for the elderly. In fact, it has been found that participating in activities that keep the mind sharp can lower the risk of dementia and other mental health problems in seniors.
- Preventing senior isolation and depression: Volunteering gets seniors out of the house and involved in something that they are passionate about. This can have an extremely positive effect on their psychological health, giving them a sense of purpose.
- Promoting physical activity: Volunteering gets people up and moving helps them maintain a healthy level of activity.
- Generating opportunities to try new things: It’s never too late to learn a new skill, meet new people or become involved in a new organization. In retirement, many people fall into the rut that is their everyday routine, but volunteering provides an opportunity to try something new and experience it with new people.
Every generation can experience the joys of volunteering, and older adults especially can see physical, mental and emotional benefits of giving back to their communities in ways that mean the most to them.