This week, April 23 to 29, is National Volunteer Week and it is a perfect opportunity to get involved in your community or to thank the people who volunteer their time to improve the lives of those around them.
Older adults who are entering retirement can greatly benefit by volunteering in local schools, animal shelters, libraries, hospitals or with organizations they feel passionate about supporting. By donating their time and skills, seniors can not only give back to their communities but also remain socially connected with other like-minded people.
According to Volunteer Canada, studies have found that older adults who volunteer are less likely to feel isolation, report fewer stress-related illnesses and have a higher sense of self esteem. Volunteering also gives older adults the opportunity to try something new and many times can provide networking opportunities that lead into a second career.
As the population continues to live longer, and in better health, volunteering can offer retired seniors the chance to do something that improves their own quality of life while helping others. For those who have lost a spouse or live alone, giving their time to a cause can be a welcome change that provides important social interaction. And by putting a lifetime of knowledge and skills to good use through volunteering, older adults can reclaim a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can make the golden years even sweeter.