During retirement, many seniors report an emptiness – a loss of self or purpose in life. Volunteering can add value to your life by giving you a purpose that helps you live a more meaningful and rewarding life.
Volunteering can make you feel good about yourself because you can use the gifts and talents you’ve been given or worked so hard for in your life back to others. Or maybe you are developing a new skill you’ve always wanted to pursue, but didn’t have the time or money because you needed the paycheck. In addition, you can gain unexpected friendships when you choose to volunteer. With volunteering, you are forcing yourself to stay active and engage your mind. Challenging yourself may help ward off the symptoms of aging at an earlier age by keeping you physically and mentally fit. These are all intrinsic values of volunteering.
Volunteering also has many extrinsic values. You are helping someone improve their life, an organization promote their mission, or a cause you believe in without costing them extra money. You are using your skills, knowledge, and wisdom to better something or someone. By volunteering, you are helping bind communities together. Even if you don’t volunteer for an organization, a simple gesture of opening a door for a stranger, picking up a piece of trash, greeting a stranger, or helping a new resident around town or the community, can add value to this beautiful world we live in.
As a senior volunteer, you are teaching the younger generation the wisdom, knowledge, and seasoned skills you’ve developed. Let’s be honest, we know the younger generation can use some practice on communication outside of technology. We know that’s where the true human connection comes alive and the importance it holds in humanity today.
Vice versa, there is a lot an aging adult can learn from the younger generation – the use of technology. Most organizations use computers these days, and for an aging adult this can be very overwhelming and frustrating. They can even teach an aging adult how to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, or live video like FaceTime. Knowing how to use these applications will allow you to stay connected and up-to-date on friends, family, and colleagues and may help diminish the feelings of emptiness.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Gandhi
Interested in Volunteering? Click on the below link for local charities and organizations.