You are currently viewing Older people make great volunteers [column] – Reading Eagle

Older people make great volunteers [column] – Reading Eagle

For many, reaching retirement is a long overdue milestone that took decades of hard work, saving and planning. Once you’ve achieved that goal, knowing what to do next, if anything, can be a difficult question to answer.

The new free time, at first, can seem like a relief after a lifetime of work. But after a few months, it’s not uncommon for new retirees to start feeling a little restless. Part-time jobs to earn a few extra bucks are always a good option, but that level of commitment isn’t always what people are looking for.

Volunteering is a great option for those looking to get out of the house and kill some free time. Not only does volunteering make a difference in your community, but it’s also a great way to stay socially and physically active.

The service is the perfect way to connect with members of your community who are in need. More often than not, they might use some of your words of wisdom. By volunteering at churches, youth centers, and homeless shelters, you can easily become a mentor to someone who really needs it.

In addition, volunteering can even provide some personal benefits. During our working years, we spend each day surrounded by the buzz of our colleagues, which is why it’s easy to feel disconnected and lonely in retirement. According to AARP, up to 17% of adults aged 55 or older feel isolated from society. Even if it’s only for a few hours, volunteering helps you integrate into society and prevent isolation.

As we age, the likelihood of cognitive decline is more likely. Staying physically and mentally active can slow the onset of problems such as memory loss and reduced information processing speeds. Volunteering offers the perfect chance to stay engaged with your spirit and your community.

Along with mental activity, physical activity is vital for health. According to the CDC, about one-third of adults over the age of 50 reported having no physical activity. Physical inactivity can lead to serious muscle and bone loss, as well as a host of other health problems. Serving meals at a food bank, picking up litter, or sorting through donations all create an opportunity to be physically active without being too strenuous for seniors.

Finding the right volunteer opportunity is key to feeling fulfilled in your work. Fortunately, there is a wide range of needs within our community. Opportunities in Berks County range from being a bilingual representative for the Alzheimer’s Association of Berks County, feeding the hungry at Helping Harvest, positions with the American Red Cross PA Rivers Chapter, and even serving as a volunteer. maintaining exhibits with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Additionally, opportunities within Berks Encore include being an adoptive grandparent, administrative duties, and meals on wheels.

Volunteering as a senior is truly a win-win situation. On the one hand, service opportunities provide a chance to stay physically and mentally active. On the other hand, they provide our communities with much needed help, support and wisdom.

With an abundance of time and knowledge, retirees truly make the best volunteers. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy, please reach out to organizations in your community to see if they need a helping hand!

Leave a Reply