When an older adult retires and life starts to slow down, they may feel bored or like their lives lack purpose. Family caregivers who notice this happening in their aging relatives may want to consider encouraging the older adult to get involved in volunteer work. There are many reasons volunteering can be beneficial for seniors, like these below.
Volunteering Reduces the Risk of Depression
Doing work that helps other people can make older adults feel good. In fact, experts say that volunteering cuts the risk of many mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. Researchers have conducted tests that show certain hormones and brain activity associated with happiness occur when people volunteer.
People Who Volunteer May Avoid High Blood Pressure
Caregivers who are concerned about an older having high blood pressure might want to consider volunteering as a way of managing or preventing high blood pressure. According to one study, seniors who volunteer at least 200 hours per year (a little less than 4 hours per week) have a 40 percent lower risk of high blood pressure.
Volunteering Can Increase Independence
Being a volunteer can increase your aging relative’s confidence, making them feel better and more sure of themselves. This could lead them to feeling more comfortable doing things independently, with less help from a caregiver. In addition, volunteering can offer physical health benefits that increase strength and make it possible for older adults to do more without help.
Seniors Can Make Social Connections While Volunteering
Volunteering offers a chance for older adults to spend time with other people. This is especially important for seniors who live alone and have a limited opportunity to interact with others. Volunteering gives the older adult a way to meet new people. Since many retired seniors volunteer, chances are they will work with others their age, which could lead to lasting friendships.
Volunteering Offers Something for Everyone
Seniors can use skills and experience they’ve developed over a lifetime to help others. No matter what your older family member’s interests or abilities are, there is a volunteer opportunity for them. Even seniors who are confined to a wheelchair can find volunteer positions they are capable of, such as reading with children to improve their skills or clerking at a thrift store that raises money for charity.
Creating Stronger Bonds Through Volunteering
Volunteering can also be a way for caregivers to form a stronger bond with the older adult they provide care to. They can find a place to volunteer together, which can give them something to talk about and plan for together.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Cherry Hills, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.