One of the wonderful joys of retirement is that you’re into a time of life when making a buck and worrying about using your time “profitably” is less of an issue. But it’s not entirely true that all senior citizens want to retire to spend the day rocking on the back porch or taking long naps. Human beings are by nature workers and doers and that need to be productive and be a part of something bigger than yourself definitely does not go away the day you stop working for a living.
This is why volunteering is such a great way for senior citizens to use their talents, as well as their time to benefit others. As the years move on, more and more, nonprofit/community outreach organizations are finding a rich resource of free & enthusiastic talent among senior citizens. For aging adults, the chance to volunteer for a cause gives them a chance to feel important and useful. It provides human contact outside of their usual age group which is often a frustration for seniors.
While seniors love being with those of their own generation, it’s just as important for them to be with people the age of their own kids, millennials, teenagers and even younger children. In addition, volunteering gives aging adults a chance to invest themselves into something they believe strongly and to do so with a greater depth of commitment that they ever could have put forth before they were retired.
The opportunities for volunteering in most communities are very diverse: You can easily find a volunteering opportunity to fit any retirement situation, personality type or area of interest. Here are a few wonderful and fulfilling volunteering ideas just to start the list:
- If you have had a life of commitment to your church, there is always a need for volunteers to work with ongoing projects there. Many churches operate several branches or ministries like libraries, youth & family centers and even schools that rely heavily on volunteers to keep reaching out to the community with these services.
- If you love the outdoors, the parks service may be able to use you to help with upkeep projects on city lands. You can also help coordinate charity events such as fundraisers, fun runs and marathons which will get you plenty of fresh air, while you do good for others along the way.
- The arts often need volunteers and you may even get to participate in great artistic programs. Opportunities like ushering at plays or music events at the local theater, serving at the admittance desk, conducting tours at the museum or helping build sets for the local theater group can be great fun for an outgoing senior.
- For the elderly that is home bound or introverted, work can be found stuffing envelopes, doing internet research or making phone calls for charitable. The best part is that all of those causes can be done right from the comfort and safety of your own living room or kitchen.
- For the retired senior who is handy with tools, as well as loaded with knowledge and talent on areas of construction, habitat for humanity is an outstanding and ongoing program that will be able to use those skills to the fullest. Mission programs from local churches also find great work for talented seniors who want to help the less fortunate.
These are just the tip of the ice burg, 5 simple yet wonderful ways seniors can be active in their communities by volunteering their time and talents which not only helps others, but volunteering also positively impacts your senior’s life as well. Seniors are great volunteers because they are full of life and energy but at the same time patient and skilled at managing projects because of a lifetime of achievement.