Reimagine aging through volunteer work. Not only does volunteering helps strengthen your community, but it also benefits you physically and emotionally. New studies have found more benefits for older adults who are volunteering after retirement. Here are some reasons why volunteering is a great activity to partake in when staying at retirement living in Bixby, OK.
Volunteering Bridges Generational Gaps
Certain volunteer work requires retirees to interact with the younger generation which gives retirees the opportunity to share their wealth of experiences and life lessons. Similarly, the younger generation can teach retirees about the rapidly changing world, technology and introduce them to new perspectives. Building these connections can be an enriching experience for both parties, allowing them to understand and respect each other better.
Volunteering Time Creates More Time
While it might seem ironic, spending time on others can help you feel like you have more time. A study done recently found that people who gave their time felt more useful, confident, and capable. Accomplishing one thing like helping someone else increased their confidence and allowed them to feel more capable of accomplishing other tasks in the future. Therefore, they are more likely to actively make full use of their time, and achieve more with realistically less time, creating the illusion that they have more time.
Volunteering Benefits Mental Health
Volunteering contributes to one’s cognitive health, keeping the brain active and therefore lowering the risk of dementia as well as other health problems in older adults. Volunteering also forces one to get out of the house which can have significant benefits for psychological health. Socializing and volunteering reduce feelings of isolation and depression and provide a meaningful distraction. Research has found that those who engaged in volunteering activities typically suffered a shorter course of depression compared to those who did not. Volunteering creates a sense of purpose and achievement which is vital for mental well-being.
Volunteering Promotes Physical Activity
Physical activity is extremely important for health especially as we age. Maintaining a healthy level of fitness through volunteering kills two birds with one stone – helping others and helping yourself fend off diseases. So whether it is helping out with a local sports team you are passionate about or volunteering as a walking companion in your neighborhood, use this opportunity to do yourself and others some good.
However, it is important to note that when looking for volunteering opportunities, they should fit into your schedule. Many retirees have found that volunteer work that is flexible is best for their schedules while others are able to volunteer about 15 to 20 hours a week and still have time to relax and engage in other activities. Volunteering should come from the heart and therefore you should find an activity that you are passionate about. Not only will it benefit the community you are helping more, but it will also help ensure consistency in your volunteer work. Remember that it is never too late to start volunteering! Whether you have just begun your retirement or are years into it, there are plenty of opportunities out there.