Did you know that volunteering helps strengthen communities? Well, if you are looking for great volunteering opportunities, you should consider volunteering with the elderly. As much as it helps you as a volunteer, the seniors will love it too.
Here is what you need to know about volunteering with the elderly and how to choose the right volunteering options.
This article is part of my “Importance of Elders” series that features 50+ articles on keeping seniors and the elderly happy and healthy so that we can have them in our lives longer. See the entire series here.
Why Is Volunteering With The Elderly Important?
Here is why you should take your time to become a volunteer that helps seniors and the elderly:
1. Prevents Loneliness And Isolation
As seniors grow older, they often suffer from social isolation. With fewer interactions, loneliness creeps in and it might have a negative impact on someone’s health. Well, by volunteering with the elderly, you should be able to give them something to look forward to every time. You will improve their socialization and help keep their brain active.
2. Gives The Elderly A Feeling Of Purpose
As we grow older, we start losing our sense of purpose. Children will grow up and move out of the house. We will also retire from our jobs. Even worse, we might have a hard time doing a lot of physical activities.
As such, volunteering with the elderly gives them a sense of purpose. You should be able to give them a new zest for life. It can also help them feel motivated and accomplish other goals.
3. Meeting New Friends
Retiring from a career or moving to a new neighborhood might make it harder for seniors to make new friends. Well, by volunteering with the elderly, you make it easier for older adults to meet new friends. You should be able to build friendships with like-minded older adults and build a community together.
4. A New Way To Reconnect
Does your older loved one have a hard time reconnecting with their spouse or grandchildren? Well, by interacting with volunteers, they can strengthen their relationships and reconnect effortlessly. Together, you should be able to learn how to learn, make new memories and help others.
Tips For Volunteering With The Elderly
If you are looking for ways to start volunteering with the elderly, here is what you need to do.
1. Check With The Local Authorities
In your community, it’s easy enough to find older adults who could use simple things such as conversation, buying groceries or transportation to their doctor’s appointments.
Therefore, if you want to start volunteering with the elderly, find out from medical professionals, community service centers and other departments to identify elderly adults who need your help.
2. Join A Local Volunteering Organization Or Group
Do some research and find the private organizations that provide services to the elderly. They are always looking for volunteers who can work with the elderly in the community. Check Salvation Army or the Red Cross and start volunteering with the elderly as soon as possible.
3. Work With A Senior Living Community
Your local area has a lot of senior centers so they are the best places to volunteer with the elderly. Start by contacting the local senior center and find out how you can offer your volunteer services.
4. Donate Money
You might not be able to volunteer with the elderly in person but you can donate money to help with the elderly. Make sure you donate money to an organization that helps directly with seniors. Depending on where the donation is going, you might specify how you want the donation to be spent on seniors.
5. Visit The Elderly
If you are not looking to go through a formal volunteering process, you can visit the elderly as part of your volunteering initiative.
Whether it’s an elderly loved one or neighbor, you can visit them as frequently as possible during your free time. Spend time together as you watch TV, share stories or play board games.
6. Help The Elderly With Things Around The House
Most seniors who are living at home as they age might have a hard time handling everything in their house. They need someone to help them shovel snow, prepare meals or with simple gardening tasks.
Take the time to do this for your elderly loved one or neighbor. They will definitely love having you around.
Seniors need a lot of companionships as they grow older. Take the time to make them feel like they belong and have a sense of purpose with volunteering.