There’s no end to fulfillment found in retirement. Travel, hobbies, spending time with grandkids, and simple relaxation are all rewards of a life well spent and well planned.
Here’s another activity to consider: volunteering.
Did you know that becoming a volunteer after retirement can benefit your health and well-being? The simple act of giving your time and energy to a worthy cause offers myriad benefits:
- Provides a sense of purpose
- Helps you stay active
- Boosts holistic health
- Fosters new friendships
- Can help you learn new skills
Read on and discover more about how seniors benefit from volunteering.
1. Provides a sense of purpose
For most people, professional careers and raising families provide long-term satisfaction. But post-retirement or when the kids have grown, where does one find purpose?
“My husband had Alzheimer’s and was a resident at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. He had such good care that I wanted to give something back. I can’t donate $50K, so I donate my time as a way to show gratitude for all the wonderful ways they cared for him.”
– Barbara S., retired teacher and editor, 13 years as a volunteer after retirement
In the right situation, it’s rewarding to donate your time to making your community or the world a better place.
2. Boosts holistic health
According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteer activities can improve your self-esteem and life satisfaction. Other studies show volunteering reduces stress, anxiety, depression and other health problems.
Research has also demonstrated a positive relationship between volunteering and brain function. In fact, a lifestyle that includes volunteerism can reduce the need for future long-term care or memory care.
Many volunteer opportunities include mild physical activities. Think boxing meals for the hungry or giving museum or park tours. These types of opportunities improve mobility, cardiovascular health, and life expectancy of seniors
3. Fosters new friendships
Mental health is built upon social connections. Unfortunately, isolation becomes a greater risk as we age. Volunteering solves that, helping you to meet new people and establish rewarding relationships. You’re sure to meet and bond with peers – those of your age and interests.
Perhaps most satisfying are intergenerational connections, which can occur between mentor and mentee. Younger and older people often live in separate social worlds. A volunteer mentoring program has the benefit of bridging generational gaps.
Connecting with a younger person can energize your own life. It gives you the opportunity to learn new skills while sharing the wisdom of experience. In a mentoring relationship, both parties inevitably learn from each other.
4. Helps you gain new skills
As a volunteer, you can learn new ways of seeing the world and develop skills that might not have been possible throughout your career or while you had a younger person’s obligations.
A new environment is invigorating, firing your imagination and inspiring you to try your hands at something new. Volunteering may be the path toward a brand-new passion, which is always satisfying. Or perhaps you’ll burnish old talents you’ve missed using.
Charles E. Smith Life Communities Is Here for You
Charles E. Smith Life Communities’ network of residences has been caring for older adults since 1910.
We offer numerous opportunities for volunteering, socialization, and the experience-rich lifestyle you want. Our senior living community offers a full suite of care services, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, post-acute care and long-term care. We invite you to schedule a tour and meet our award-winning team.
If you’d like to volunteer at our community …
Residents benefit from the generosity of participants in our Volunteer Program.
“The satisfaction and gratification that comes with volunteering has always been rewarding to me,” says Monica Mayer, Manager, Volunteers at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. “The best part of my job is connecting volunteers to meaningful experiences.”
At our community, everyone has a chance to participate. Whether you want to strengthen your social ties to the community or just want to do something worthwhile, we’ll help you find an opportunity that brings you the joys of volunteering.