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3 Positive Reasons for Seniors to Volunteer

3 Positive Reasons for Seniors to Volunteer

After a lifetime in the workforce, retirement leaves many senior citizens wondering what’s next in store. With a free schedule, suddenly they have a plethora of time, resources and flexibility that they never had before. For years, work gave them a purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Without it, many seniors can find themselves pondering how to fill their extra time.

Fortunately, no matter who you are, how old or what experiences you have, there’s always one way you can find fulfillment, use your passion and give back to others all at the same time: through volunteering. For seniors, volunteering is the perfect chance to use extra time to make a difference in the community. Check out these positive reasons for seniors to volunteer.

1. Volunteering promotes brain health.
As we age, health can become a serious concern for many. Particularly after someone retires, the number of activities they do that stimulate the brain dwindles. However, volunteering provides the perfect outlet for mental stimulation and interaction. This stimulation improves seniors’ mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression and even dementia. 

The National Institute on Aging found that participating in meaningful social activities like volunteering can improve a person’s longevity, mental health and diminish the risk of dementia. Another study by the Rotman Research Institute found that seniors who volunteered approximately 100 hours a year (three to four hours per week) had improved memory and speech as a result. They also ended up feeling less stressed and overwhelmed. As we age, volunteering keeps us mentally sharp, which improves our overall health.

2. Volunteering equips physical health.
In addition to mental health, volunteering can also significantly boost a senior’s physical health. And of course, maintaining a good level of fitness can prevent injuries and disease as people age. Whether it’s walking dogs for the Humane Society, building homes for Habitat for Humanity or simply restocking books at the local library, volunteering gives seniors a physical outlet to stay in shape. 

One study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University showed that individuals over 50 who volunteered were at a decreased risk for developing high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart attack and other conditions. In 2014, a review of 45 years worth of studies demonstrated that seniors were in better physical and mental health as a direct result of volunteering. To feel better mentally and physically, volunteering is the perfect option.

3. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose.
After years in the workforce, many seniors often feel a lack of purpose for their lives. While they used to spend their time helping others and working hard, time can feel much more vacant in retirement. Volunteering for an important cause fills this need. Consistent volunteering gets seniors out into the community, with people counting on their attendance, services and abilities. 

The feeling of being relied upon gives seniors this sense of purpose and responsibility for their lives. Seniors meet new friends and build a valuable sense of community and relationships. They know they’re making a difference, and their work has an impact. In fact, one study by the Corporation for National and Community Service discovered that adults over the age of 60 who volunteer reported higher levels of wellbeing and lower disability than those who did not. Volunteering not only helps the community, but it can also help the seniors who get involved. 

Volunteering has a valuable impact on everyone, but it can especially make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. If you or someone you know is a senior living in post-retirement, consider how volunteering can play a role in life. You might just find a plethora of reasons to get involved and give back.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

Our Impact in 2019

  • Attended Group & Online Classes

    1154

  • New Homeowners

    641

  • Dollars Invested Into Communities

    125,400,000

  • Dollars in Mortgage Loans Originated

    2,700,000

  • Dollars in Small Business Lending

    150,000

  • Homes Built & Sold

    5

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