October 27th is National Make a Difference Day. This is a day dedicated to community service, and making a difference in the lives of others. One way you can participate? Volunteer some of your time to help care for the elderly! Spending time with senior citizens doesn’t just benefit them—there are plenty of benefits for those volunteering as well. Below we cover 5 reasons why you should consider volunteering your time to work with the elderly.
1. Give yourself a sense of purpose
While all types of volunteering can give you a sense of purpose, working with the elderly can make this feeling even stronger because you’re making a direct, positive impact on the lives of others.
2. Learn something new
As the saying goes, “with age comes wisdom.” If you choose to volunteer your time and work with the elderly, you may be surprised by how much you’ll learn from their stories and life experiences. Being a good listener doesn’t just benefit you—it can also raise the morale of the individuals you’re working with. Being able to socialize with someone and tell their stories can help seniors feel less isolated and lonely.
3. Give back to your community by providing an invaluable service
As the population continues to age, the shortage of caregivers to help the elderly is projected to increase. By donating your time to places like assisted living facilities, you’re providing an invaluable service by helping the senior citizens there live a better quality of life.
4. It’s good for mental health
This applies both to you, and the individuals you work with! Volunteering your time to a great cause is rewarding, and the senior citizens you’re working with will benefit from that time. You could also be lowering your own risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia: Volunteering has been proven to keep the brain more active. Helping the seniors you’re working with participate in activities they enjoy has the same effect: According to the National Institute on Aging, they stay more active, and enjoy a better quality of life—leading to a healthier mental state.
5. Job experience
A resume with volunteer work on it makes it stronger, and looks good to potential employers. Volunteering can also give you valuable experience in the field of work you may be interested in pursuing. Spending time with older adults can help you determine if a career in caregiving is one you’d want to seriously consider.
Looking for volunteer opportunities? Visit the PACE CNY volunteer page to explore your options! Or if you’re ready to pursue a career with Loretto, check out the careers page for our current openings. Our workers play a valuable role in helping our residents live meaningful lives.