Some seniors have a desire to interact with others and be active within their communities. Volunteer work provides an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and make a difference. There are many facilities and organizations that welcome senior volunteers. Here are a few reasons older adults should consider volunteering.
1. Boost Cognitive Health
The Senior Corps published an article online that provided the results of a study correlating volunteering with cognitive health. The research found that older adults who remained active through volunteer work demonstrated better cognitive functions. Depending on the type of work seniors opt to do, volunteering stimulates several regions in the brain. Older adults often call upon their past work experience, use problem-solving and social skills, and perform physical tasks that require interaction between cognitive and sensory areas of the brain.
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2. Ensure Physical Health
Researchers from UCLA learned that older adults who continue leading active and productive lives seem to slow the aging process. Of all senior-friendly activities, volunteering offered the most health benefits. The work kept seniors from becoming frail or developing various age-related medical conditions. Some volunteer activities require handiwork and physical labor, while other options include providing tours of facilities. In either case, older adults engage in activities that benefit cardiovascular health while maintaining muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Being active during the day also encourages much-needed sleep at night.
3. Unite Generations
Volunteering often involves working with people of all ages, providing an opportunity for different generations to learn more about each other. Older adults can become acquainted with the current culture of the youth, while children and young adults learn about the culture, ethics, and traditions of their elders. Volunteering brings the various age groups closer together in acceptance and understanding, as all of them gain valuable information about one another.
4. Gain Rewarding Experiences
The opportunity to give back offers emotional and mental satisfaction. Too often when seniors retire, they lose contact with others and have an increased risk of loneliness and depression. However, by volunteering, older adults can feel a sense of accomplishment. Doing volunteer work also provides a relief from stress and negative emotions while elevating mood and enhancing self-esteem.
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5. Benefit from Flexible Scheduling
Many facilities or organizations that enlist the aid of volunteers are more than willing to accommodate seniors based on their personal schedules. The experience, knowledge, and skills older adults offer are considered so valuable that they need merely determine the number of hours they wish to donate. Seniors can opt to work for a few hours each day, only on certain days a week, or periodically during the month.
Engaging in volunteer work is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Coral Gables, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your senior loved one needs help aging in place, give us a call at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.