Retirement doesn't need to mean becoming idle. There are many advantages of seniors volunteering, other than the overall benefit that society gets from good deeds and activism. If you're retiring, this is the perfect opportunity to devote your time or other available resources for a cause that you care about. You're not being compensated with money, but you'll be getting something far more valuable.
Maggie Kuhn proudly refers to herself as a "little old woman", because she knows there is power and value behind this title. Mrs. Kuhn was forced into retirement at the age of 70, but, of course, she wasn't about to let that slow her down. Kuhn founded an organization called The Gray Panthers, which fights age discrimination and advocates for social and economic justice.
Another famous example of seniors volunteering is Doris Day, the legendary singer/actress who followed her passion for helping animals and founded four organizations dedicated to rescuing animals.
Health Benefits of Seniors Volunteering
Volunteering fosters good feelings. Research shows that volunteering produces organic results that benefit mental health, both in the physical brain, and emotionally. Helping others makes you happy and lowers stress levels in the body.
The rewarding feeling you get from knowing you did some good has been known to rid feelings of anxiety and depression. Stress is hard on every function of your body. Lowering stress in a healthy way can help boost your immune system and keep blood pressure regular.
Volunteering challenges you in a good way and gives you something important to do that makes you feel good. Knowing you're providing value feels great, and keeps you “on your toes” which keeps you sharp! As long as you feel rewarded at the end of the day, you can reap the health benefits of volunteering.
Societal Benefits of Seniors Volunteering
You can help bridge the generation gap by volunteering as a mentor or a tutor. If you have a particular area of expertise, you can offer career advice. If you worked in the field of psychology, you could offer your services as a counselor for underprivileged youth. You have the opportunity to inspire younger people to aspire to bigger and better things.
You can also provide companionship to those whose health is failing in nursing homes, or volunteer to walk dogs or groom cats at your local animal shelter. If you're good at cooking, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you're an avid gardener or own a farm, you can donate fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs to a local food bank. The list goes on!!
No matter what you're good at or what you know, you have something great to offer. Seniors volunteering and advocating for good causes is a complete win-win situation.