Social Life, Charitable Work, and Volunteering in the Community
By Greg Bechard
Life is full of many opportunities. Young people finish their schooling and head into their careers to engage with the world and grow professionally. Those in the middle of raising young children find themselves volunteering to bring snacks to hockey practice. As the children head off to live their lives, new chances to grow as a person are possible. Yet sometimes, seniors don’t know where to begin and how to re-engage after retirement.
Now is the best time to embrace a renewed social life, devote time to charitable causes, and volunteer. The results include increased emotional well-being and a sense of belonging. You or your senior may find this chapter of life rich and rewarding. For those times when extra assistance is needed to remain healthy and ready to give back to others, a personal support worker to provide in-home care is a great choice.
Connection is Key to Aging in Place
More seniors want to live life in their own homes. Aging in place benefits many families and especially seniors. One key element to remaining at home is to stay active. Not only should you or your loved one eat nutritious meals and exercise, but maintaining social engagement is the third leg on the stool of vitality. Seniors need to connect with their community, explore volunteer work, and embrace the benefits of giving back to others.
1. How Seniors Can Connect with Their Community
Staying connected enhances your mood and helps your brain remain sharp. For seniors, it may even help stave off depression and dementia. Finding the best connections or paths to meeting others is more challenging. However, it is worth the effort to get and stay connected within the community at large. You have many avenues to help yourself or your aging loved one find opportunities to grow as a person, including:
- Senior Centres: These are havens for those wanting to engage with others in a similar age bracket. The centres excel at providing many activities, such as cultural programs, book clubs, and fitness classes.
- Recreation Centres: Mom and Dad can relive their younger days at the skating rink but doing activities that are more age-appropriate. These centres also have gyms and swimming pools. They are a great place to keep up on fun games and exercises.
- Libraries: Where would we be without a good book? Your local library also carries audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music. Your senior can also access the internet and other digital media.
Your aging mom or dad does not have to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. The goal is to start small, share their wisdom, and make the most of their life experiences. Eventually, they can find the best organization to volunteer with their skills and time.
Learn more about Ways Seniors Can Connect with Their Community
2. Volunteering with Senior’s Organizations
A critical observation about volunteering is that it reduces sadness or depression. When you or your elderly family member reaches out to serve others, they will benefit too. Finding the right place to share life-long learned skills is possible. Here are some ideas:
- Chat with another senior: Living alone, even with the assistance of a personal caregiver, can be a little lonely. If you like to talk with others and lend a listening ear, you might be a good fit for a program like “A Friendly Voice.”
- Reconnect with those of the same career path: If Dad worked on the railroad, no one would understand his stories like a fellow railway worker. As a former federal employee, he may benefit from volunteering with the National Association of Federal Retirees. It’s fun to swap stories with those who worked in the same field.
- Embrace religious roots: Religion offers a place of grounding for many. Mom or Dad may benefit from helping out in their local church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.
Finding the right place to volunteer is only the beginning. You may wonder what the benefits are of devoting time to helping others.
Find more about Volunteering with Senior's Organizations
3. Why You Should Volunteer as a Senior
We know that eating healthy and getting exercise helps our bodies. Reading and working on puzzles aid our memory. Why volunteer? You might be surprised to learn the benefits of volunteering your time brings:
- Enhanced Emotional Well-Being: Giving to others, especially with similar interests, helps people feel like they belong. That increases their comfort levels in an increasingly busy world.
- Increased Cognitive Function: One way to keep your mind fit is volunteering. Your mind remains sharp as you stay active and spend time helping others.
- Strengthened Social Connections: Staying socially active aids in preventing mental health issues like depression or chronic stress. You or your loved one also benefit from the new friendships formed with others of different ages.
There are many benefits to volunteering that make life more enjoyable. It’s also vital to find those opportunities that help you or your elderly parent stay social as a senior.
Learn more about Reasons Why Senior Citizens Should Volunteer
4. Staying Social as a Senior
Engaging socially starts with finding those places where you feel most comfortable. You can find opportunities to learn new things, especially when you can do them with others of the same age. Interacting with those in your age group is possible with these suggestions:
- Join a Club in the Area: Finding a senior club near you provides you the opportunity to stay socially active. Many options focus on fun activities like gardening, reading, bingo, and photography.
- Plan a Regular Game Night: You or your senior can call up some friends and invite them over for games and snacks. The camaraderie will be the highlight of the week or month.
- Start a Group: Maybe your mom loves to knit. She could invite friends to knit scarves and stocking caps for the homeless or newborn babies.
- Work Part-Time: Being retired doesn’t mean you cannot work. Part-time opportunities allow your senior some extra cash while keeping them socially engaged with others.
Engaging in community and embracing an active social life make aging in place possible. Why not encourage your loved one to stay active and find ways to give back?
Read more about staying social as a senior
Get Personal Support to Keep You Engaged and Active
Engage in this new season of life by remaining socially active. It is different for everyone, but one thing is the same – it makes retirement exciting. The Home Instead team in Mississauga understands the benefits to seniors who stay active. We provide customized home care services to ensure that happens. For example, we aid with personal care, companionship and providing light housekeeping. Our goal is to ensure that you and your senior have the means to stay involved in life to its fullest. Learn more when you contact us today.
Call us at (905) 276-2273 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver, every day, to families in All Mississauga including: Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erin Mills, Erindale, Lakeview, Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville.