From Retired to Rewired: Volunteering in Later Life

As we age, it’s important to stay active and engaged in our communities. One way to do this is through volunteering. Volunteering is not only a way to give back to the community but it also offers numerous physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits for older adults.

Volunteering can be an excellent way for older adults to stay active and healthy. Physical activities such as gardening, walking, and cleaning can help keep the body in shape. Volunteering can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension. Studies have shown that volunteers have lower levels of stress, lower rates of depression, and improved physical health.

Activities in volunteering can also help keep the brain sharp and prevent cognitive decline. Many volunteer activities require learning new skills and knowledge. This can stimulate the brain and enhance cognitive function. Volunteering can also help prevent cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that older adults who volunteered regularly had a lower risk of developing cognitive problems than those who did not volunteer.

Volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which is important for older adults who may have retired or lost social connections. Volunteering can also promote social connections and a sense of community. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and improve mental health and well-being. Volunteers often report increased levels of happiness and satisfaction with life.

There are many different ways of volunteering that can be considered, including:

  • Mentoring or tutoring young people
  • Assisting at a local hospital or nursing home
  • Participating in a community garden
  • Serving at a local food bank
  • Helping out at a local library or museum
  • Assisting with community events or fundraisers

Volunteering is an excellent way for older adults to stay active, engaged, and connected with their communities. It offers numerous physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits. By volunteering, older adults can give back to their communities and improve their own quality of life.

On May 3rd, the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay will be hosting a Volunteer Fair. A number of Door County non-profits will be in attendance, sharing their volunteering opportunities. Save the date!

Do Good Door County will be there. Our volunteer positions are related to programs that will be launched over the next year, more brain than braun type work. If you are interested in learning more, contact us.