Volunteering has been proven to be so helpful in allowing seniors to find purpose and combat depression that the United Kingdom’s National Health Service has labeled volunteering as one of the five recommended ways to improve and maintain health and well-being. The lifetime of experience and wisdom possessed by seniors can benefit the community in so many ways. Seniors can help younger generations when they share their perspective, and they are immeasurably helpful when they can provide solutions they have employed in difficult situations. Seniors are often the best volunteers when needed by fellow seniors. Helping fellow seniors can help to create comfort and form friendships that help out everyone involved.
Volunteering can benefit your overall well-being by improving:
• Overall Health: Studies show that seniors who volunteer maintain lower blood pressure and enjoy better psychological health. Seniors who volunteer are more active and often have better memory.
• Self-Esteem: Seniors who feel that they are appreciated and useful maintain better self-esteem and feel confident about themselves and their value within the community. Volunteer activities also provide an opportunity to learn new skills and conquer new challenges. That sense of accomplishment can be the key to better self-esteem.
• Perspective: In studies, volunteer activities have been shown to disrupt negative thought patterns and make it easier to avoid depression. Appointments and activities create structure, which is useful in battling the malaise experienced by many seniors. Furthermore, the ability to contribute to the community and witness the outcome of those contributions helps provide motivation and a sense of purpose.
• Relationships: Relationships, friendships, and community involvement are important tools to fight the loneliness and isolation that often leads to depression. Volunteering is a great way to reach out to the community and find new friends. Seniors have so much to offer other generations, and volunteering allows them to experience different age groups and create a reason to stay connected. Volunteering allows seniors to gain access to the types of relationships that keep them open minded and searching for new ways to learn and grow.
It’s relatively easy to find a reputable organization that will be eager to help you begin volunteering. Typlical obstacles to volunteering like transportation, time, and skill sets can usually be easily overcome. If you would like to start volunteering, here are a few web sites to get you started: