Volunteer Work for Seniors: What the Benefits Are and How to Get Started
If you’re an older adult who has reached retirement age, you may find that you have a lot more time on your hands than you know what to do with.
Volunteer work is a great wat to stay active and healthy. It also gives you the opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships. Don’t know where to get started? Read on to find out more.
What are the benefits of volunteer work?
First of all, you may find that there are clear physical benefits to volunteering, depending on the types of activity you choose.
For instance, studies have shown that walking on a regular basis is one of the best ways to remain mobile and independent. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle has also proven to assist with the reduction of stress levels. Consider distributing meals at food banks, helping at animal shelters, or cleaning up a local park if you would like to spend more time on your feet.
Volunteering on a regular basis should also bolster your mental health considerably by allowing you to connect with different people, all while giving you a new sense of purpose. This is perhaps the most often overlooked benefit of performing volunteer work as a senior — it enhances your social life.
Volunteer work options for seniors
There are an many volunteering options available to you, giving you the opportunity to select the activity that best fits your interests and personal convictions.
For instance, you may choose to seek out opportunities to provide mentorship for students or young workers who are starting their careers in a field you are familiar with.
If you are concerned about the environment, participating in local cleanups or awareness campaigns may be the right choice for you.
Some other examples of volunteer work include:
- Assisting military veterans
- Volunteering abroad for a change of scenery
- Performing outreach and activism for a political campaign
- Providing care to animals in shelters
- Greeting and assisting newly arrived refugees
There are dozens of organizations that are dedicated towards helping people perform volunteer work on a local, national, or international level.
For instance, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) provides opportunities for volunteering across the United States, which you can find on their website. These opportunities are separated into categories such as poverty, sports and recreation, arts and culture, etc.
Other national organizations and groups that you might want to join include:
- The Boys and Girls Club of America
- Habitat for Humanity
- Senior Corps
- Peace Corps
- Junior Achievement
At a more local level, here are five organizations that are active in the Mercer County area:
- Good Grief, Inc.
Good Grief is a resource for grieving children and their families. Through our support center and workshops, they help children during the difficult times of their lives and offer support and guidance to the adults in their lives.
- Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
Mercer Council’s mission is to create pathways to reduce substance-related challenges through education, support, advocacy, and partnerships throughout our community.
- Regional Family Support Planning Councils
RFSPSCs provide a venue for parents and family members of people with developmental disabilities to exchange knowledge and information about family support services.
- The Arc of New Jersey
The Arc of New Jersey is the largest non-profit advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in New Jersey.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mercer
NAMI Mercer listens, leads, educates, and advocates, empowering families and individuals affected by mental illness to build lives of quality and respect, free of stigma and discrimination.
Regardless of the type of work you’re interested in, volunteering as a senior is a wonderful way to remain active, boost your health, and be a positive force in your community.
Visit Mercer Resources for a list of organizations that operate in neighboring counties and state-wide.
Are you looking for a retirement community where being active doesn’t just mean staying physically fit? And where the people you live near are more than just neighbors? If so, contact us to find out more about our Life Plan Community in East Windsor, NJ.