For some adults, retirement has met all expectations and maybe even more. For others, the opposite happens. Perhaps you or an older adult you know fall under the latter category, and all of the plans for retirement have either failed to work out or never got started. Now, you are left with the question, “What do I do now?” While there are a number of activities you can do at and around home, volunteering has become more popular with older adults over the years, and it has its benefits:
Increases Quality of Life and Well-Being
Studies have shown that when an older adult volunteers, levels of quality of life in retirement, satisfaction with retirement, and overall well-being are significantly and positively affected. The most important reason to volunteer is to reinforce or renew you own sense of purpose.
Health and volunteering are connected. Healthy adults are more likely to volunteer, and those who volunteer have reported feeling healthier. These effects have also been correlated to the increased self-esteem that comes with volunteering.
Learn or Develop New Skills
Volunteering allows for a pursuit of something new. It is a way to finally learn and develop that new skill in the certain interest you have been waiting to explore for years. It can also be a way for you to pass knowledge onto another person to encourage his or her new skill development.
Meet New People
Volunteering presents the opportunity to meet new people. Perhaps you have a certain group of people that you surround yourself with for company and conversation. Step out of this comfort zone. Sometimes the closest relationships are formed out of the most unexpected places. A volunteer opportunity could introduce you to someone you might not have otherwise met had you not participated as a volunteer.
Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
By doing volunteer work, you not only impact your life, but you touch the lives of other people. Those who you are doing work for most likely could not have gotten the task or job done in any other way, and these people will be more appreciative than you might know or realize.
Sometimes illness or loss changes original retirement plans. People with mild cognitive impairment and early stage Alzheimer’s can make meaningful contributions as volunteers. People grieving a loss can, with effort, rise above their own sadness and help others. Look for opportunities in your community and sty purposeful—it’s a key component to enjoying life.
Home Care Assistance is North America’s premier provider of in-home care for seniors. Our mission is to change the way the world ages. We provide older adults with quality care that enables them to live happier, healthier lives at home. Our services are distinguished by the caliber of our caregivers, the responsiveness of our staff and our expertise in Live-In care. We embrace a positive, balanced approach to aging centered on the evolving needs of older adults. For more information visit our website at this link: Hourly Home Care Explained. Or, if you’d like to speak with a Care Manager right away, call us at 402-261-5158.
Photo credit: Kneading by Paul Roeder