Volunteering is one of the ways of giving back to your society. Generally, volunteerism helps to develop better relationships and skill sets and improve your mental and cognitive capacity. Research has proved that volunteering for older adults has many health benefits, some of which are amazing.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the health benefits of volunteering for older adults.
9 Health Benefits of Volunteering for Older Adults
Volunteering is said to have some tremendous mental health benefits in humans. However, in this article we will focus on the health benefits of volunteering for older adults.
1. Improves your mental health
Volunteering for older adults makes you engage with the older adults’ daily life, which helps keep your brain active. Also, by serving older adults. You get to inculcate a sense of appreciation and meaning in life, which gives you a better outlook on life. This serves as a remedy against stress. Reduced stress has been linked to lowering mental health problems like anxiety and depression in humans.
The National Institute on Aging stated that volunteering significantly reduces your risk of dementia and other related health issues.
Also, the Longitudinal Study of Aging stated that volunteers have lower mortality rates than those who volunteer, even when the mortality rate is controlled in terms of gender, age, and physical health.
2. Gives you a sense of purpose
Volunteering for older adults helps you have a sense of purpose in life. From your volunteering, you will see how these older adults live their lives, go to work, retire, gradually become weak, and resort to staying at home or in adult care houses.
This helps you to understand that you won’t be young all through, and you need to make better decisions to preserve your old age,
3. Boosts your self-esteem
There are still more health benefits of Volunteering for older adults.
Older people are likely to suffer from low self-esteem or feel worthless due to their advanced age. However, volunteering can improve your self-esteem and boost self-confidence.
Whenever you partake in something you feel is worthwhile and valuable to people around you, you get a sense of fulfilment that may help you feel more fulfilled about your life and any future goals.
4. Remedy for social isolation
Most older adults face social isolation, which is detrimental to their physical and mental health. When you get into the community to volunteer, you interact with these older ones, keeping them company, which helps fight social isolation. Volunteering is one of the healthy ways to deal with loneliness.
It positively affects the adults’ lives, and the volunteer has a shorter risk of getting depressed. Thus, as a senior, volunteering can help improve your social health.
5. Helps you improve your hobbies
Do you love cooking, building, arts, and coaching? Volunteering for older adults is a great avenue to improve these skills.
You can engage in cooking healthy meals for the older adults, making arts to entertain them (like dancing and singing), or engaging them in low-activity exercise.
This gives you the room to sharpen your interest, which might benefit you in your career or personal life.
6. Serves as an avenue to meet new friends
Finding new friends becomes difficult when you move to a new neighborhood or retire from a career. Volunteering is an excellent avenue for you to meet people of the same interest and passion and do great things together.
7. Helps you build a better relationship skill
Volunteering helps you to learn how to connect, reconnect and maintain relationships with older adults. So with this knowledge, you can connect better with your grandparents, parents, and family. And you can teach one on to build a relationship skill.
8. Increases your physical activity
Volunteering for older adults keeps you physically busy. You are either moving, serving meals at a shelter, cooking meals in the kitchen, walking around the neighborhood with an older adult as their companion, helping to clean the care home, or entertaining the older adults.
Physical activities are essential in helping you stay fit and maintain a good weight, which has a positive influence on your overall wellbeing.
9. Builds a connection with the younger generation
By volunteering for older adults, you learn valuable life lessons that aren’t taught in school and serve as a guide for making better-informed life decisions.
While on the other hand, you can teach them how the youngsters or millennials look at life. Also, you can teach them how to operate simple technologies. This helps build respect for each other.
Volunteering for older adults helps maintain and improve your physical, mental, and social health, which is essential in achieving the wholeness of the mind, body, and soul. The above health benefits of volunteering for older adults should spur you to get out there and volunteer.