Volunteering for Others and Seeing Personal Benefits
Aging is a sore subject for most people. No one wants to talk about getting gray hair, adding extra pounds, or developing wrinkles. While there are some downsides to aging, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Seniors and Older Americans have the ability to give so much to their community and also to others. In many cases, seniors have fulfilled their responsibilities to the professional world. They are no longer in the 9-5 grind of working to pay for things like children’s braces, new tennis shoes, or making sure their children are dressed perfectly. Seniors have time to volunteer at local food pantries, organize church functions, and visit the sick and homebound. What a wonderful gift!
Granted, there are many things that seniors can be doing with all of their “free” time, however squeezing in some time for giving will not only benefit others but the personal benefits are exponential. There are multiple benefits of giving and for many the act of simply doing something good for others creates an indescribable feeling of satisfaction. In addition to simply feeling good, volunteering can create important networking contacts, allow you to learn or develop new skills, build self-esteem and self-confidence, meet new people, feel needed and valued, and teach others your wonderfully tuned skills.
Volunteering can be especially important for seniors because it allows them the opportunity to connect to others. By volunteering you expose yourself to individuals who have similar interests as you and are passionate about the same causes. It also allows you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills since you will be meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests.
A key risk of depression is social isolation; therefore the risk of depression is reduced while volunteering. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with other and help you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life. Volunteering is an easy and fun way to explore your passions and interests. Doing volunteer work can be a relaxing, energizing way to escape from your day-to-day routine of work school, or family commitments.
Volunteering is a personal thing that you choose to do because it is something that you think you will enjoy. There are multiple avenues available for volunteering, such as at a church or place of worship, local library, school, service organization, or even your local Area Agency on Aging. There are no specific guidelines for what you have to do to volunteer; simply taking time out of your day to help someone else is the greatest gift you can give someone.