After retirement, you may feel aimless or without a purpose and start to withdraw from family, friends, and society. This is especially dangerous in seniors as it can negatively affect their physical, mental, and emotional health. Participating in purposeful activities like volunteering is perfect in providing older adults with various social opportunities and giving them a new goal in life. Volunteering is full of benefits for healthy aging. This includes keeping one physically and mentally active, allowing one to learn new skills, and even making new friends with caring individuals! Read on to learn the importance and benefits volunteering can have on healthy aging.
Improves Mental Health
The most obvious advantage of volunteering is that it makes a positive impact on the community. Being able to contribute to such an achievement could lead one to have a boost in their self-esteem and recognize their self-worth. Research has shown that helping others causes the brain to release happy hormones such as endorphins and dopamine which is the reason why we enjoy lending a hand to others. Volunteering also serves to ignite renewed motivation and creativity that can give you a refreshed outlook on life.
Keeps You Physically Active
Volunteering can include activities that will require you to be physically active. For example, litter-picking groups will require you to walk around your neighborhood to clean up the trash, while volunteering at an animal shelter might require you to bring out dogs and other animals on frequent walks. These examples and more are all ways in which volunteering can help older adults lead an active lifestyle. This is especially important in maintaining good physical health and reducing the risk of physical ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic pain.
Prevents Dementia And Depression
As mentioned above, you can be mentally and emotionally enriched when you volunteer. Participating in mentally stimulating voluntary activities like tutoring can prevent the development of cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study by the University of Calgary has found that seniors who volunteered regularly for at least an hour per week were 2.44 times less likely to develop dementia than those who don’t volunteer. The support system that comes along with volunteering is also great at warding off mental illnesses like depression and excess stress.
Learn New Skills
You can always learn new information and skills, even at retirement age. Volunteering exposes you to many facets of life that you would have otherwise not known of. Volunteering to teach can expose you to other volunteers who possess skills that you can learn from. Learning new skills stimulates the brain and boosts memory recall which is vital in healthy aging. You can also choose to volunteer for something you are passionate about and improve your skills in it.
Gain Socializing Opportunities
Another great benefit of volunteering is that you can interact with animals or people from all walks of life. Socialization can prevent boredom, social isolation, and loneliness that seniors are often at risk of experiencing. Up to one in three older adults live their lives with the feeling of loneliness. Joining volunteer community groups can help you meet and connect with other like-minded and charitable individuals, leading to new friendships and maybe even the rekindling of old ones.
Why Choose Veranda Club?
In our community, seniors can take advantage of a wide range of services and amenities. Whether you prefer independent living or assisted living, Veranda Club’s friendly and dedicated team will make sure that you have a comfortable stay.