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5 Ways Volunteering is Good for a Senior's Mind, Body, and Soul

Earlier this month, I discussed the importance of exercise and an active lifestyle for seniors with Parkinson’s disease.

Recently, one of our Home Helpers caregivers who assists a gentleman client with PD accompanied the man to an activity class that he really enjoys. The class consists of a series of exercise stations that focus on reflexes, balance, and coordination, An additional bonus she noticed was the social connections displayed between the senior participants and the senior volunteers who helped at each exercise station.

These exercise stations included activities like basketball, pickleball, boxing, resistance bands, exercise balls, and more. At every activity, a senior volunteer was available to help and/or play along with the class members. Participants had 5 minutes at each station. When the alarm sounded, members would rotate to the next station.

The caregiver took a few minutes to chat with a few of the volunteers working at the exercise stations, and they all expressed their joy and personal gratification in being able to assist the senior participants and get some exercise themselves!

To be a volunteer requires a commitment of time and energy in service to others. An article published by Senior Community Services highlights the benefits of volunteering in retirement that includes helping strengthen our communities, as well as the volunteers’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

Guest columnist, Deb Taylor, CEO of Senior Community Services, explains, “With new studies being done, we are finding more and more benefits linked with volunteering, specifically when volunteering after retirement.”

One study performed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) showed that Americans over the age of 60 who volunteered reported lower disability and higher levels of well-being compared to those who did not volunteer.

So, let’s explore the 5 ways volunteering is good for a senior's mind, body, and soul.

  • Volunteering helps bridge generational gaps. Interactions between seniors and younger generations benefit everyone. Seniors can share their own life experiences while learning new things from younger folks. “By building a connection with each other, both generations offer the respect and affirmation that humans crave.”
  • Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time. A study by Wharton College discovered that people who give their time feel more capable, confident, and useful. “So, even though realistically they have less time, they feel as though they have more time. Similarly, those who donate their money feel like they are wealthier.”
  • Volunteering is good for mental health. “Volunteering keeps the brain active, which contributes to a person’s cognitive health. The National Institute on Aging reported that participating in activities that are meaningful and productive may lower the risk of dementia and other health problems in seniors.”
  • Volunteering helps prevent senior isolation and depression. Volunteering has positive effects on a person’s psychological health based on the study by CNCS. “Researchers found that individuals who engaged in volunteering activities experienced a shorter course of depression than those who did not volunteer. Volunteering provides the senior a sense of purpose and accomplishment.”
  • Volunteering promotes physical activity. “Physical activity remains an important role in positive health outcomes through the oldest ages. Whether that activity is helping with a local sports team or walking around your neighborhood while volunteering as a companion, maintaining a healthy level of fitness helps fend off diseases as you age.”

April is National Volunteer Month and I strongly encourage seniors who have the time, energy, and ability to find activities they enjoy or are passionate about and ways to contribute as a volunteer. “Whether you just retired or are in your later years, there is an opportunity out there for you,” Taylor says.

If volunteering is not an option due to physical or mental health constraints, a compassionate Home Helpers® caregiver can provide transportation assistance and companionship for seniors to get out and participate in activities with others, even if that is simply going out for a meal or taking a stroll around the neighborhood or local park.

I gladly offer a FREE Consultation at your convenience to assess specific needs and match the perfect caregiver to make life easier.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have been ranked among the Home Care Pulse Top 100 Leaders in Experience for home care providersand to have receivedthese awards in 2024: Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice, the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice, the Best of Home Care® Leader in Experience, as well as being named a Caring.com2023 Caring Super Star.

We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier® 727.942.2539


Senior Community Services