Can there be anything more selfless than giving back? Now that the season of giving is upon us, it’s the perfect time to consider volunteering.
Volunteering can help provide a meaningful and rewarding experience for both the one doing the volunteering and the one receiving the volunteering. There are many great causes and possibilities for you to spend your time.
Reasons to Considering Volunteering
- It’s good for the soul and mental health – Giving your time for a cause has been shown to boost the outlook of seniors. Studies have shown that when seniors volunteer the level of depression goes down exponentially. It truly does make you feel good inside to help others.
- Reduce the chance of dementia – Volunteering may help reduce the chance of getting dementia or other related cognitive impairments. The National Institute on Aging has reported that being a part of activities that are social and meaningful, like volunteering, can possibly reduce the risk of health issues, like dementia.
- It’s good for the body – While it may seem obvious, getting out and helping others does encourage physical activity. This helps to promote a healthy body by performing physical activities that volunteering can sometimes offer.
Ways to Volunteer
There are so many ways to spend meaningful time volunteering. Really, looking inward and discovering what you’re passionate about is the best first step in figuring out where you want to spend your time and who or what you want to help. Just in case, here are some ideas to get you started.
- Spending time with children – It’s no secret that seniors love children, and vice versa. That’s why one of the best ways to spend time is to get in touch with local agencies and programs that can allow you to get involved with some local kids. A great resource is a library. They may be able to allow you to come in and read to children as an after-school program. This builds a connection and bridges the gap between the generations. You could also see about volunteering at a school. The school may have you come in and read to children, help with art projects, or possibly even coach sports teams.
- Animal Shelter – The benefits of senior interactions with animals has been thoroughly studied and the outcome is always positive. If you want to spend your volunteer time with animals, then speaking with your local animal shelter is a great first start. Animal shelters are typically understaffed and over-populated with animals. They’re always looking for someone willing to take some time and help out with the animals. Opportunities to spend time with dogs, cats, and small critters are always available. Helping to clean the shelter, walk the animals, groom them, and more. This is a great way to volunteer that is beneficial to the shelter, the animals, and yourself.
- Food Drives – Donating your time to help organize or implement a food drive is a great way to give back to those in need. Talking with your local food bank is the best way to take the first step. They’re always looking for help and are generally low on supplies. Food drives tend to spike around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but people need help year-round.
- Senior Companion – Becoming a companion to another senior is a wonderful way to help out. Some seniors aren’t able to do as much as they used to. Providing them with some extra help can really brighten their day. As a bonus, the impending conversations can provide the company that they may be lacking. Contacting your local senior center is a great first step.
There are many ways to spend your time volunteering and helping. Figuring out what holds a special place in your heart can steer you in the right direction. You can always mix it up and spend a little of your time in different places, spreading your love across many avenues.
Living at a Bonaventure Senior Living community provides you with many opportunities to not only volunteer but also have a lot of fun. As a resident, if you’re interested in volunteering within a Bonaventure Senior Living community, simply speak to your activity director. They’ll be able to help you figure out who to get in contact with to begin your journey of volunteering.
If you would like to volunteer at a Bonaventure Senior Living community, the best first step is to contact the community nearest you. You can find our communities: HERE.