It’s been said that we feel best when we are helping others. Many seniors have devoted their lives to doing just that: taking care of their families, assisting coworkers, and being good neighbors. Because the desire to have a purpose never fades, today’s senior communities often offer an array of volunteer opportunities.
The benefits of volunteer opportunities
You know how good it feels to make a difference in someone’s life. What you may not realize is that volunteering not only makes you feel good, but it also offers significant health advantages. Here are a few as given by the Mayo Clinic Health System:
- Volunteering reduces stress and increases positive feelings. This is due to the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. As stress lowers, so does the risk of heart disease, stroke, anxiety and other illnesses. The mortality rate also drops.
- Participating in volunteer opportunities increases life satisfaction and self-esteem. It’s those good feelings you get, which come from finding a sense of purpose. This is especially true when helping with a project that has special meaning for you.
- Volunteer opportunities provide an excellent source of socialization. Working side-by-side with others on a project means new connections and new relationships. It’s a casual way to work on your social skills and build a larger network of contacts.
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Finding an assisted living community with the right volunteer opportunities
Just as today’s seniors want to continue to give back to those around them, today’s assisted living communities are offering more and more ways to do so. Here are just a few examples of how residents can be of service to others:
- Be a mentor. Older adults have garnered a lifetime of wisdom and experience that can be of great benefit to younger generations. Volunteer opportunities might include working with a budding entrepreneur, counseling a younger person on their educational options, or offering advice to recent graduates.
- Connect with a local school. Many assisted living communities are located within a short distance of a school. Assisted living residents can make cards and decorative items during holidays to give to the students, or arrange a group visit to the school to sing to students or read to them. The mix of generations can help bridge a gap and build connections for the future.
- Help a local charity. There are often ways residents of assisted living can be part of a fund-raising campaign or event, such as helping with mailings, attending events, serving on committees and more.
- Serve on a committee in the community. It’s a great way to get involved and help make the assisted living setting even more enjoyable. Whether you’re interested in gardening, interior design, exercise and wellness, dining, spiritual development, art and music, or any other topic, using your skills right where you are can be fun and satisfying.
- Assist other residents. The simplest acts of kindness can go a long way. You might organize a few fellow residents and sing holiday carols to those who are under the weather. Or have the knitting club make shawls as gifts. Those who love to read can share a story with other residents.
Residents of The Herrick House find the lifestyle they are looking for—and a sense of purpose
It’s more than a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional care. It’s understanding how our residents desire to remain close to the things that are most familiar to them.
Our location, nestled in a beautiful and private wooded setting on the upper campus of Beverly Hospital, puts us close to beautiful parks, theaters, galleries, and stores, all of which can be excellent sources of volunteer opportunities. Here at The Herrick House in Beverly, Massachusetts, connection is easy, as is finding your unique way to have a purpose. We would love to tell you more.
Finding ways to give back, while enjoying a lifestyle of exceptional care and companionship. Download your free copy of Just The Facts: A Guide to Assisted Living. Contact us to learn more about The Herrick House or to schedule your tour.