Volunteering is a powerful force for good in the community. Whether you work with children, animals or cleaning up the surrounding neighborhood, giving your time freely in service shows compassion and builds an altruistic life for yourself and those around you.
When it comes to volunteering, there are all sorts of ways to get going. One area in particular is working with senior citizens. Volunteering with elderly neighbors is an excellent way to get involved, support your community and find fulfillment. Check out these five benefits of volunteering with senior citizens.
1. Build a relationship.
A common problem many elderly people face is loneliness. Some may live far from their families, may have lost a spouse or may not get very many visitors. What results, then, are very few human interactions outside of basic health care. For you, volunteering with senior citizens may simply mean sitting in conversation, playing a board game or practicing a new craft together.
By volunteering your time in such simple ways, you help combat the loneliness they may be experiencing and build a positive relationship for them to look forward to. Not only can they enjoy the relationship, but you, too, could make a new friend in your life.
2. Learn something new.
Not only can you create a new relationship, but more than likely you’ll have the opportunity to learn something new. Learn a new craft, skill or hobby. Or, learn about historic events by someone who may have had firsthand exposure. When we sit in deep conversations with those who have had drastically different experiences than us, we have the chance to learn drastically different things and grow in our newfound knowledge.
3. Teach new skills.
As your senior friend teaches you new ideas, you in turn can teach them. A common misconception about older adults is they have lost the desire to learn new skills, or are too “stuck in their roots” to try anything different. For many, this could not be more false.
By volunteering with senior citizens, you have the chance to teach them something, a new concept, way of thinking or—here’s the big one—about technology. If you love technology, teaching these new skills to older individuals can not only be a fun way to foster a relationship, but it can also make them feel more engaged and connected with the changing world.
4. Support a family.
Some aging adults might not have many visitors. This could be for a variety of reasons, but some could simply be because their family is too far away or has other pressing concerns. You can help through volunteering. Not only will you be serving the individual him or herself, but you will also be helping the entire family through your commitment. Show you care about one person and the cycle will ring on throughout their family, friends and even the community.
5. Add to your resume.
Finally, volunteering with senior citizens is an amazing attribute to add to your work resume. Potential employers will see you as kind, compassionate and committed to serving others, along with having valuable experience in a work-related environment. Try it out for yourself and see how it benefits your personal and professional life.
Volunteering opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, but working with senior citizens can be especially beneficial. See how you can get involved in serving the elderly members of your community and focus on living a more altruistic lifestyle.