Volunteering has numerous benefits, including improved physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The best part is that you can volunteer and see benefits from doing so at any age.
Some of the great programs and organizations older adults can volunteer for in their community include:
- State and national parks
- Animal shelters
- Food delivery services
- Foster grandparent programs
- Community gardens
- School support and training
- Young professional mentorship and training
Whether they live at home or in a senior living community, older adults have time and wisdom to give. They can be valuable volunteers helping share the knowledge and skills they’ve learned.
Some communities even offer events and services that help their residents get engaged with volunteering.
What’s In It For Everyone?
Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and assist people who are in need. As people retire, a gap in knowledge and skills based on a lifetime of experience develops. This expertise can bring value to the economy and create better communities for everyone.
Furthermore, how people interact with others displays what matters to them. People who regularly connect with others and are active in their communities tend to live longer and are more physically and emotionally healthy than those who choose not to get involved with their community.
Volunteering is an excellent strategy to lower stress and depression and calm anxiety, according to studies. You can experience meaning and fulfillment through volunteering and acquiring new skills, improving your self-worth, and cultivating your self-esteem.
Additionally, volunteering helps develop a sense of community, belonging, and resiliency. It can provide feelings of direction and the opportunity to make new friends and relationships.
10 Volunteer Opportunities For Older Adults
There are numerous types of volunteer opportunities, each with a unique set of advantages and requirements, with no restrictions regarding age.
A wide range of organizations in the community can benefit from assistance, including Habitat for Humanity, which is an organization that provides several options for women and veterans, ranging from homebuilding to restoration to assisting with the charity’s retail stores.
Feeding America is another organization where interested volunteers can find a food bank in their area and help with administrative work, bagging, food selection, and other tasks.
The Alzheimer’s Association has local segments providing numerous volunteer activities, such as organizing outings, promoting learning, performing data entry jobs, and pushing for more action and awareness.
State & National Parks
Parks in the United States are usually happy to collaborate with new volunteers. Some opportunities demand specific experience, but others are open to persons with any level of knowledge or experience. Opportunities range from one-time volunteer work to long-term commitments and duties such as invasive vegetation cleanup and serving as a tour guide or campground host.
Food Delivery Services
Meals on Wheels, founded in 1954, provides food to those in need in many cities across the United States. The organization has over 5,000 locations and an extensive volunteer base of 2 million people who help those in need get essential nutrition without leaving their homes. Volunteer opportunities are flexible and as often or as infrequently as desired.
The Humane Society of America has volunteer opportunities all around the country, which include giving animals direct care and affection, being a local policy leader, and providing phone assistance to persons voting for pro-animal initiatives.
Foster Grandparent Programs
AmeriCorps, for example, is likely to include a foster grandparent component as part of its volunteer network. Meanwhile, churches or other places of worship in the area may be able to help through foster grandparent programs.
With some free time, a local community garden could benefit from gardening expertise.
Volunteering options in community gardens may include:
- Seed preservation
- Building enclosures for tomatoes
- Garden upkeep
- Marketing, operations, logistics, and organizing events experience
School Support and Training
Local schools may be searching for volunteers to help with the following:
- Lunch or other activities with students
- Assist teachers in the classrooms
- Tutoring children in specialized subjects
- Field trips with chaperones
- Outside of the classroom, volunteering with programs such as Eldera, which connects people over the age of 60 with children who need homework assistance.
Young Professional Mentorship & Training
Opportunities to mentor and train a young professional can be a rewarding option for volunteering.
Big & Mini is a group that fosters multigenerational connections through shared interests. Get matched as a “big” with a “mini” who shares your passions, pastimes, and professional goals, and engage with them through phone calls.
Career Village is an online community that connects students to a network of 80,000 seasoned volunteers who are recognized experts in their respective areas. Members of this online community receive notifications when questions about their field of expertise so they can assist in answering them.
Ideas For Volunteering With Limited Mobility
Limited mobility doesn’t have to stand in the way of volunteering. GetSetUp is a site that offers educational courses designed exclusively for older individuals, often led by older adults. Volunteers lead portions of these courses, which include:
- Accepting elderhood
- Diabetes management
- Cooking for 1 or 2 people
Companionship at A Hospice Organization
Volunteer options in local hospices commonly include:
- Companionship for patients receiving end-of-life care
- Performing administrative tasks
- Making fidget mats for individuals with dementia
- Sewing teddy bears, quilts, caps, and various stuffed animals
Volunteering in hospice care means interacting one-on-one with the patient or with the patient and their family, meaning the volunteer experiences individual and independent volunteering.
Prioritize Your Time
Investing time and effort into volunteer opportunities within your community can help others when they need it most and can help you too.
Volunteering assists with a happier, healthier lifestyle that helps to keep you feeling more youthful and gives life more joy and gratitude for everyone.
Why not leave the more mundane tasks to the capable hands of those at Arcadia at Limerick Pointe so you can spend your valuable time doing what you love and helping others? Independent living is encouraged and complemented with various amenities and services, making it easier for residents to focus on what they find meaningful. Book a tour and see what Arcadia at Limerick Pointe can do for you.