Volunteer with Seniors
Volunteer work can be extremely rewarding on a number of levels. While there are a variety of groups and places you can choose to share your time, many people turn to volunteering with seniors because of how much seniors appreciate it. Whether it’s at a community center where adult day care is held, a nursing home or assisted living facility, there are many opportunities to spend time with seniors all across the country.
Benefits of Volunteering with Seniors
Volunteering with seniors not only benefits them because it gives them someone to talk to and spend time with, but those giving their time also reap the rewards.
- Learning more. If you've ever spent time with a senior citizen, you know they have some great stories to tell. While you may think they're learning from you, you’re actually learning more from them. They can tell you about history because they’ve lived through it. Their knowledge is invaluable. Volunteer and see how much you can learn.
- Share your skills. Just as volunteers benefit from seniors, seniors can learn new skills through volunteers. Some volunteers can introduce seniors to technology, show them how to do artwork, teach them how to make a new meal, etc. Whatever skill you possess, don’t be afraid to share it. Many seniors love to learn new things!
- Making a difference. Whether they have loved ones around or not, the time you spend with them is meaningful. For some, it may be the only one-on-one interaction they receive. Knowing this should make you feel good about what you’re doing.
- Gaining valuable experience. When you volunteer you are gaining experience when it comes to working with people. Although you are not earning money from it, volunteer work is something that can be put on a résumé. It is something that is looked favorably upon among potential employers.
How to Volunteer with Seniors
There are so many ways to volunteer with seniors. Depending on how much time you have to give and what you’re interested in doing, you will find plenty ways that seniors can benefit from spending time with you. Here’s a list of just some of the opportunities:
- Listening & Talking. Some seniors are lonely and just want someone to listen to and talk to. Simply doing this is helping in more ways than you can imagine.
- Bringing Meals. Bringing a meal and sharing it with them is also a way you can volunteer.
- Provide Entertainment. If you are a singer or play an instrument, many seniors can benefit from music therapy.
- Provide Transportation. If you know of a senior who may need a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store, you can help in this way.
- Organize Old Photos. Many seniors may have old photos they haven’t gone through in a while. You can help them organize as they take a trip down memory lane.
Other simple ways to volunteer including playing board games and doing arts and crafts with seniors. Coloring has also become popular among adults of all ages because of its therapeutic benefits. There are a variety of adult coloring books that seniors can take advantage of as you color together.
If you’re not sure how what to do during your volunteer time, ask what interests the person or group and get to know them in that way. From there you can decide what activity is best.
Where to Volunteer with Seniors
If you want to volunteer with seniors, you can contact any local nursing home, assisted living facility, or retirement community in your area and see if there is a need. If you’re not sure where to go, there are many organizations that can help you find a place where your services are needed. Here’s a look at some to contact:
Remember, volunteering with seniors is an opportunity to give back and expand your horizons as you help others. Take the time to volunteer and see how valuable of an experience it can be for everyone involved.