As an older adult, you’re likely to have more time on your hands than you did when you were busy raising a family or advancing your career. To avoid boredom or feelings of declining purpose, it’s wise to look for ways to fill your time with positive things. Many older adults find great fulfillment in volunteering for their communities. Volunteering for seniors can improve skillsets, relationships and physical and mental health. Here are a few suggestions from Elder Care Alliance for how you can volunteer your time and talents as a senior.
Mentoring or Tutoring Children
You have decades of life experiences and education, and you can put them to good use in helping children. Mentoring or tutoring children is not only a great way to help them succeed in life but also a great way to decrease your loneliness if you live far from your own children and grandchildren.
You can become a mentor at a local youth center. This is a great way to pass your knowledge down to the next generation and help steer them in positive social and educational directions. If you have a background in education, you may also wish to become a tutor and help children struggling with a particular subject in a one-on-one setting. Many such volunteer opportunities for seniors can help you change others’ lives while elevating your own.
Helping Military Members and Their Families
Helping troops and their families is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a senior. Look into the Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service Program of the Military Order of the Purple Heart or other similar organizations to see if they accept volunteering for seniors. You may be able to help provide warm blankets and meals to troops who are waiting to fly home or overseas.
Assisting With Disaster Relief
Disasters happen all the time all over the world. From devastating earthquakes to crippling floods, people around the globe need volunteers like you to help them survive. If you’re a retired pharmacist, nurse, physician or any other medical professional, your help is especially needed. You can volunteer for organizations like the Medical Reserve Corps. Make sure you’re in optimal physical and mental health before volunteering for disaster relief because this type of volunteering for seniors can be highly fulfilling but potentially dangerous.
Volunteering With Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers like you to keep operating. It helps provide affordable housing and repairs for those in need. Many seniors enjoy volunteering for or working at local Habitat for Humanity organizations.
Fundraising for Local Causes
Do you know of a worthy local cause you’d like to support? Consider helping them by organizing or volunteering for their fundraising efforts. If you have any skills such as wreath-making or pottery skills, you can also dedicate your time and talent to selling homemade items and donating the proceeds to your favorite local cause.
If you’d like to experience the many benefits of volunteering for seniors, consider becoming engaged in any of the above causes or join Elder Care Alliance over at the Mercy Brown Bag Program. You’ll notice an enhanced sense of purpose and will most likely experience a boost in your mental and physical health due to your volunteerism.