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Encourage Your Aging Loved One to Volunteer in the New Year

With busy schedules, finding time to volunteer isn’t always easy. However, for retirees and those in their golden years, extra time may be plentiful! If you have an aging parent, grandparent or loved one who lives independently, encourage them to volunteer. Not only can volunteering provide benefits to your loved one, it’s a great way to give back to the community. Other benefits enjoyed by senior volunteers include:

  • Strong Social Network
    One of the greatest challenges for older adults is staying socially engaged as close friends and family members move and pass away. Seniors often experience feelings of loneliness and even depression, and it becomes hard for them to want to make new relationships. Regular volunteering, however, exposes them to a new group of people and helps them maintain strong social connections. They can make new friends that they share a common interest with, helping to improve emotional health and wellbeing. Other great ways for seniors to enjoy companionship is by checking out classes at local senior centers or enlisting in Toronto in-home care services.
  • Getting Out and About
    Volunteering is a great way for seniors to get out of the house. In addition to encouraging physical activity, volunteering on a regular basis can create a routine for the senior. They have an obligation to others which can serve as needed motivation for a more active lifestyle. Even if the activity of volunteering isn’t strenuous, it is a better alternative than staying home. Does your aging loved one need transportation assistance? Click here to learn about part-time hourly care in Toronto, perfect for transportation for volunteering, errands and a bit of help at home.
  • Higher Feelings of Self-Worth
    People often tie their identity to their jobs or their children. As retirement wears on and a senior’s children become busy with their own families, it’s easy for older adults to lose a sense of purpose and self-worth. Volunteering is a way seniors can improve their self confidence as they can come to feel appreciated and needed again, something that is extremely important for positive emotional health.

Whether your aging loved one is newly retired or in their 90s, one is never too old to start volunteering and helping others. There are countless volunteering opportunities available for seniors to take advantage of including preparing meals for the less fortunate, helping out at the local food bank, assisting at the church or a nearby school or university. Sit down with your aging loved one and help them start 2014 off by giving back to the community!