3 Reasons Seniors Should Volunteer

Julia Little  |  August 20, 2014

Volunteering is one of the best ways for people to give back to their communities, whether they're helping plant a public garden or tutoring students after school. Seniors living in retirement communities frequently enjoy this act of kindness, as it provides them with many benefits that are crucial for their health.

1. It benefits the economy
Volunteering in the community provides a substantial boost to the nation's overall economy, according to the HandsOn Network. Those who give back their time end up saving organization and public service representatives thousands of dollars each year, depending on the task at hand. Seniors who join a community service organization or spend a Saturday volunteering may be critical for bolstering the nation's economy.

2. It boosts mental and physical health
Researchers have found that the effects of volunteering on one's health are especially pronounced in older adults, as those over the age of 65 see serious mental and physical benefits after participating in community service endeavors. A 2007 report from the Corporation for National & Community Service found that older adults who regularly volunteered not only had lower mortality rates than those who didn't, but they also had greater health benefits than younger volunteers who donated equal amounts of time. 

3. It provides a sense of purpose
The study noted that one of the main reasons older adults were more positively impacted by volunteering was because the new jobs gave them a sense of purpose, especially when tasks were completed. This sense of accomplishment drove older adults to report higher levels of life satisfaction and more positive physical health. Additionally, seniors who volunteered reported that they felt they had left a measurable mark on their communities, something that inspired great pride within the volunteers. 

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