“Through serving others, these acts help raise our sense of purpose and meaning,” says Hutch Walch, Director of Spirituality for The Goodman Group.
“Friendships and spirits seem to soar when our residents are volunteering and giving back.” Volunteering is mutually advantageous, offering both those serving and those being served a benefit. Residents have reported they feel happier and healthier when volunteering.
Older adults have so much life experience to share with others. Volunteering presents an opportunity to share one’s knowledge and wisdom with others or to simply connect with and help those in need. Upon retirement, it is an opportunity to pursue lifelong, as well as newfound passions.
Betty Becker, a resident at Terracina Grand in Naples, Florida, is very active with volunteering at her community and the memory care community next door. She is in charge of the three libraries, is the organizer for the new resident welcome committee, and writes the newsletter for Villa at Terracina Grand.
“My hope everyday is that I can be led to an opportunity to serve my fellow man,” said Betty. “That’s just more or less my life’s purpose.”
Opportunity for Involvement
Within a senior living community, there are many opportunities to serve others.
“We have residents who volunteer at our community store, run our library, and organize games and activities for the residents in our memory care community,” said Tina, Executive Director at Westpark Village senior living community.
There are also many options for volunteering in one’s local community as well, depending on the one’s interest.
“Some residents who are World War II veterans have spoken at the local high school about their experiences. We have other residents who volunteer at reading groups at nearby schools. We even have one resident who has been volunteering at the Billings Medical Clinic for over 25 years.”
Westpark Village also has a group of women who make crocheted bears that they then donate to the local hospitals.
“Everyone fawns over them,” said Tina. “You see the pure joy and love that they put into their work and when it is reciprocated back to them and appreciated. . . the women are on cloud nine for weeks.”
Whatever interests you or your loved ones, the opportunities to volunteer are endless. We encourage you to speak with senior living communities in your area to learn about ways to get involved, or visit volunteermatch.org to find local serving opportunities that align with your interests.