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Volunteer activities for senior community residents

On the surface, volunteering is one of that activities that appears to be a selfless act. After all, you're spending your own time and resources to help somebody else, without any expectation for compensation or receiving something in return. However, strong evidence exists that indicates this couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, people who volunteer typically report feeling improved feelings of health and overall well-being, all while making the world a better place. Summarizing decades of research, the Corporation for National and Community Service writes, "those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer." Because volunteering generally provides a healthy social outlet and opportunities for physical activity, seniors who do volunteer typically feel more connected, both to themselves, as well as the greater community.

Ideas for seniors volunteering

There are countless shorthanded organizations doing great work that are quick to welcome the assistance and help of senior volunteers. By no means an exhaustive list, here is just a small sampling of the volunteer activities residents living in senior communities can consider:


1. Foster Grandparents Program: Seniors can volunteer to act as Foster Grandparents by helping mentor and support children and young people who would likely benefit from receiving just a little bit extra help and guidance.

2. Help at an animal shelter: Many people find working with animals to be immensely peaceful. Animal shelters and local human societies often welcome help from community members who are able to provide daily care for the animals, or who can offer companionship to those in their care.

3. Teaching children to read: Another favorite activity from volunteers in our Seniors Serving Seniors and Society program, seniors who help teach literacy often report feeling a deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure after teaching someone such an important and valuable life-long skill.


4. Become a poll worker: Election season will soon be in full swing, which is a great reminder that poll workers are in high demand. Our nation relies on diligent poll workers who are serious about the fairness and integrity of the voting process, a perfect position for many seniors looking for ways to get involved with their greater community. Poll workers help assure the voting process goes smoothly on election day and for vote-by-mail states.


5. Be a “Pink Lady” at local hospital: Since 1963, Pink Ladies have welcomed hospital visitors, guided them to different wings, and accompanied patients to and from surgery. This is a favorite volunteer activity of Sierra Hills resident Betty Yeats, who has volunteered as a Pink Lady the past 10 years and was recently recognized as an exceptional volunteer by Seniors Helping Seniors and Society.

Holiday Retirement's Seniors Serving Senior and Society Program

Holiday Retirement strongly encourages residents to volunteer in their Seniors Serving Seniors and Society program. Some activities undertaken by the Seniors Serving Seniors and Society include:

· Fundraising for a wide variety of causes, including March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society

· Collecting school supplies for underprivileged youth

· Participating in blood drives

· Organizing the donation of delicious baked goods (also known as “goodie drops”) throughout the community in the Random Acts of Kindness program


Naturally, these are just a small sampling of the great number of volunteer opportunities available to seniors. Whatever activity you decide upon, you can be sure the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from helping others will far outweigh the feelings of nervousness that can sometimes accompany doing something new.

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