When older adults retire, they can wonder what to do with their time. Having too much extra time on their hands may leave them feeling as though they have no purpose. Volunteering can be an excellent way to overcome these problems. In addition, volunteering has many health benefits. The Mayo Clinic states that volunteering can decrease depression, improve physical and mental health, reduce stress, and help seniors to maintain social connections. Family caregivers can encourage and assist older adults to become volunteers. If you’re unsure what kinds of volunteer activities are available for your aging family member, here are 5 volunteers to look into.
#1 Delivering Meals
For seniors who are still able to drive, delivering meals to people who are shut in is an easy way to help others. They get the benefit of spending time outside of their house while also getting the opportunity to talk to the clients they deliver meals to. Not only does it allow them an opportunity for interaction, they’re giving that same opportunity to someone else…and delivering a healthy meal while they’re at it. Most communities have meal delivery programs like Meals on Wheels. To find out how to get involved, caregivers or older adults can call the local senior center or inquire at their place of worship, which may be on the delivery rotation.
#2 Museum Docent
Museum docents are people who provide information to exhibit visitors. They may lead tours or simply mingle with visitors to answer questions. This is a great way for older adults to pass on some of their knowledge, learn new things, and interact with others. Caregivers can contact their community’s historical society or local museums to see how their aging relative can volunteer.
#3 Care for Animals
Animal shelters are always in need of volunteers to help with animal care. Older adults could walk dogs, play with cats, help with animal feedings, or assist with office tasks. Call the animal shelter in your area to find out how seniors can volunteer.
#4 Summer Meal Programs
Looking for a seasonal opportunity? Many communities have meal programs in place to help feed children from low income families during the summer months. Older adults can volunteer to help make and assemble meals or pass them out to children. Caregivers may be able to find out about these kinds of volunteer opportunities by contacting the school district or local government.
#5 Reading Mentor
Seniors who enjoy spending time with children and reading are perfect make perfect reading mentors. Schools often need people to help children with reading skills. Reading mentors sit with children while they read aloud, providing encouragement and assistance with difficult words. The nice thing about this kind of volunteering is that even seniors who are confined to a wheelchair can do it.
For caregivers in Turnersville, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.