Giving back to others isn’t just good for the community—it’s good for your health, too. In fact, volunteering at any age improves your physical and mental health exponentially. Not only do volunteers have lower mortality rates and less depression, but when you volunteer later in life, it contributes to living longer and can even decrease the risk of dementia. By volunteering just two hours a week, older adults can reduce early level disability.
It’s never been easier for seniors to engage in volunteerism. The longstanding programs of Senior Corps—part of the Corporation for National and Community Service—tap into older Americans’ skills and passions in myriad ways. For example, Foster Grandparents tutor and mentor students; Senior Companions help the frail elderly with daily tasks; and RSVP volunteers do everything from providing disaster relief support to offering tax preparation services to low-income and elderly individuals. Nearly a quarter-million Senior Corps volunteers serve at more than 28,000 unique sites across the nation. And after just one year of service, volunteers report an improvement in their health and wellbeing.
During Senior Corps Week (April 29-May 5), Older Americans Month (May) and throughout the year, let’s celebrate seniors who serve. Help spread the word that you are never too old (or too young) to volunteer in your community and enrich your wellbeing. And when you do, please use #LIVEUNITED, #IAMSENIORCORPS and #OAM18! Your local United Way may support Senior Corps programs, so if you’re interested in helping out, reach out to see how you can get involved today