What gets you out of bed in the morning? For some people, it’s the career they’ve dedicated their lives to. For others, it’s raising kids and building a family. But, what happens when the kids have all grown up or you’ve retired from a lifelong career? Without a sense of purpose to keep us moving, it’s easy to feel a bit lost or aimless. Even with plenty of hobbies, friends to spend time with and family gatherings to enjoy, it’s common to feel like something is missing from your life.
Whether you’re newly retired or have been enjoying your retirement for a few years already, volunteering can be especially beneficial for the retired population. Studies show the health benefits of volunteering can range from reduced stress levels, a boost in self-esteem, and improved mental health, to lower blood pressure and an overall better quality of life.
Three Surprising Health Benefits of Volunteering
So how do you get started? Look into a cause or local organization that you’re passionate about and see if there is a way you can give back. It can be a win-win, you help an organization in need and enhance your quality of life all at the same time! Here’s a closer look at three surprising benefits you’ll enjoy when you start volunteering.
1. Volunteering May Help You Live Longer
It may sound too good to be true, but the benefit of longevity for people who volunteer is actually well-documented. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and its Longitudinal Studies of Aging found lower mortality rates among individuals who spent time volunteering when compared to individuals who did not engage in volunteerism. Additional studies have found that the health benefits of volunteering can lead to a reduction in chronic pain and depression and can even lower your blood pressure as well.
2. Volunteering Increases Feelings of Happiness and Satisfaction
When we’re helping others, the brain releases four main “feel-good” chemicals – endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals make us feel happy and connected to something bigger than ourselves, which can be immeasurably rewarding and a fulfilling experience. The key is to find something you’re passionate about, tune into your talents, and determine how you can help advance a cause or organization that’s close to your heart. Your help will be appreciated and you’ll feel great knowing you played a role in their success.
3. Volunteering Helps You Build Connections and Leave A Legacy
Volunteering not only gives you the opportunity to help others, it also helps you meet new people, fine tune your social skills and expand your network. Volunteering can leave a legacy of giving that will be remembered by many for years to come. Simply sharing a volunteer experience can inspire and motivate others to explore ways they too can make the world a better place.
Explore Volunteer Opportunities in Your Community
Now that you know some of the health benefits of volunteering, are you ready to get out there and make a difference? It’s easy to find opportunities you feel passionate about and enjoy supporting. To get started, check with your nonprofit organizations, senior center, or websites such as VolunteerMatch.org to find the perfect fit for your interests, strengths, or level of commitment.
Volunteerism Is An Important Part of Life At Silver Maples
“Silver Maples residents are always looking for opportunities to give back to our community, both within the walls of Silver Maples and in Chelsea and its surrounding areas,” shares Winn Mahoney, Director of Programming and Wellness. “From visiting patients at the cancer center to staffing tables at community events to get out the vote, residents find causes they are passionate about and give of their time and effort. At Silver Maples, we have more than a dozen volunteer committees who help shape resident life here at Silver Maples like planning activities, running church services, and maintaining gardens.”
Silver Maple’s celebrates and thanks our volunteers with an annual appreciation luncheon served by our leadership team. What’s amazing about this celebration is to see over one-third of our total residents sitting in that room. Our residents are truly building connections, leaving a legacy, and living the best life they can!
Ready to learn more about our award-winning community? Contact us today to learn about living options, current availability and waitlist options that can fit your move-in timeline. Our knowledgeable staff is eager to assist and help you find a retirement community that fits your individual needs when you’re ready!