Giving Back in Retirement
Senior Volunteering Opportunities: Give Back and Get So Much More
Retirement gives you the freedom to do as you please, get up when you choose, go out, or stay home. Often, retirees are surprised by how challenging it can be to fill all those hours in a day. Many of them find that taking advantage of senior volunteering opportunities is more than just a way to pass the time; it’s a rewarding way to give back to the community and feel a renewed sense of purpose. And there’s another benefit—volunteering is great for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Volunteering for the Health of It
A four-year study by Harvard researchers involving 13,000 participants concluded people over 50 who participate in senior volunteering opportunities for about two hours weekly have a considerably lower risk of death. The study found that altruistic activity helped people fend off feelings of loneliness, depression, and hopelessness, all of which contributed to lowering the death risk.
In a similar study where researchers compared the health of AmeriCorps volunteers ages 55 and older to non-volunteers in the same age group, they found roughly 80% of volunteers reported having good, very good, or excellent health versus just 50% among the non-volunteers. Giving back through volunteerism can also help improve cognition, relieve feelings of isolation, and help engage you in more physical activity. In other words, everybody wins.
As to where and how seniors are volunteering their time and energy, the options are practically limitless. If you’ve been wondering, “What services can I volunteer for as a senior?” we have several suggestions below.
10 Great Ways for Seniors to Give Back
- Senior Corps Help a struggling child learn to read. Deliver groceries to an elderly neighbor. Support a family impacted by a natural disaster. These are just a few of the service opportunities available to you through AmeriCorps Seniors.
- National Park Service Senior volunteering opportunities include every kind of position from Visitor Center Assistant to Gatehouse Assistant to Living History Interpretive Volunteer and many more.
- Meals on Wheels Delivering meals is a great way to do good for other seniors, get some social time, and feel good that you’ve given back to your community.
- Feeding America From sorting and packing donated food to assisting at mobile pantries, this program is always looking for energetic seniors to help out in their community.
- Canine Companions for Independence Some dog lovers may not be able to take on the long-term commitment of dog ownership, but this wonderful program allows you to be a volunteer puppy raiser for a great cause.
- Habitat for Humanity Whether you’re a skilled builder or interested in learning how to work with your hands, everyone is welcome to help build or repair homes for deserving families. You can also volunteer at Habitat ReStore selling donated goods and raising more money for the cause.
- Volunteer Match A great clearinghouse for a variety of senior community volunteer opportunities that you can search out by state, city, and community.
- Musicians on Call Play an instrument? A lovely way to volunteer as a senior musician is to share your talent with appreciative music lovers in hospitals in and around your community. Volunteers play in patient rooms and also common areas where both patients and families can enjoy the performance.
- AARP Experience Corps A rewarding volunteer program for people ages 50 and older who want to dedicate their time to helping children improve their reading skills.
- Global Volunteers If helping others in need abroad is your dream, this organization can connect you with a wide variety of community project types around the globe.
Live in a Senior Living Community Dedicated to Giving Back
Residents of beautiful Crestwood Manor love where they live for many reasons. They relish the engaging, active lifestyle there, as well as the luxury amenities and superb Life Plan Community care options that give them great peace of mind.
But many Crestwood Manor residents also place great importance on community and giving back, and they cherish the wealth of senior volunteering opportunities they have in Whiting, New Jersey. If you’d like to learn more about the Crestwood Manor lifestyle, fill out our contact request form, and we’ll be in touch to answer questions and arrange a tour. We look forward to meeting you!