There are lots of physical, mental, and social benefits associated with volunteering for people of all ages- but these benefits are more obvious for those who are retired. They naturally have more time on their hands and must be more intentional in order to stay active and engage with the community. Consider some volunteer ideas that are good opportunities for retirees.
If you’re retired or getting close to retirement and considering moving south, put Solivita Living on your shortlist. We are a real estate agency located in Kissimmee, Florida. We specialize in 55+ communities in Central Florida, including Solivita, Trilogy, Four Seasons at Orlando, and Del Webb. We have a variety of amenities to keep you active and engaged. You may even meet some people you can volunteer with.
In this article, we’ll explain some of the reasons you should consider volunteering in your retirement, as well as offer up some volunteer ideas to consider.
Reasons to Volunteer
There are several reasons why you might want to consider volunteering, such as:
It Is Socially Beneficial
Once you retire, it’s hard to stay social. According to AARP, approximately 17% of Americans age 55+ may be isolated from society. This occurs when seniors have little contact with anyone. There are a few issues that come from being isolated, including higher mortality rates, increased risk of developing an illness, and higher medical bills.
Volunteering pulls retirees out of isolation, giving them the chance to socialize and connect with others.
It Improves Mental Cognition
As we get older, the risk of developing memory loss, cognitive issues, and motor function diseases increases. One way to slow the progression of these conditions is to stay active and use your brain. Volunteering can help with this. In fact, one study revealed that 70% of elderly individuals experiencing depression had a reduction of symptoms after their first year of volunteer work.
It Benefits The Community
Not only does it feel good for you to volunteer, it also benefits your community. Elderly people have a plethora of knowledge that sets them apart from the rest of the population. There is a variety of opportunities to volunteer with younger generations, such as youth camps, churches, etc. This will allow you to mentor young people by teaching them about life, telling them stories, and just spending time with them.
It Is Physically Engaging
As we age, physical activity becomes more important than ever. Research from the University of Southern California School of Gerontology revealed that less than 1/3 of people aged 65-74 are physically active. For individuals over the age of 75, this number is even less.
Inactivity can lead to increased bone loss, fat, heart issues, joint pain, and a variety of other issues. However, getting out and about can help combat these issues.
It Teaches You Something New
Volunteering gives you a chance to learn something new. It gives you a chance to experience new things you may never have experienced before. This contributes to the cognitive benefits mentioned previously.
It Fills Your Day And Is Flexible
When you’re retired, you have a lot of time on your hands. This can be both good and bad. You have time to do things, but it’s also hard to find things to do. Volunteering gets you out of the house and keeps your social life alive. The best part is, you can do it when you want. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to each day.
Volunteer Opportunities to Consider in Retirement
Now that you have an understanding of how volunteering can be beneficial for you, let’s look at some volunteer opportunities that you might want to consider in retirement. You will find plenty of places that would welcome your help.
Work With A Local Politician
If there is a politician in your area that you support, consider working with them going door-to-door to garner support.
Run Food Drives/Feed The Hungry
More volunteer ideas include running a food drive or helping feed the hungry. This gives you the opportunity to get into the community, possibly using your experience from your working years to get food to the poor more efficiently.
Become A Mentor
A local youth center is a great place for you to get involved with the community, passing on your knowledge to the young people in the area. This may steer them in a positive direction.
Travel With An International Service
If you’re interested in traveling, you may want to work with an international volunteer service. This will give you a chance to see the world and to help communities around the world with education and healthcare needs.
With today’s tech, you don’t even have to leave your house to volunteer. Consider tutoring and mentoring youth online. This will keep you engaged, even if you struggle with mobility issues.
Help With Tax Prep
If you have experience filing taxes- even just personal experience- you may be able to help others in your community with this task. Many community centers offer tax prep and may need people to help. This is flexible because it only lasts for about half the year.
Help With Cleaning The Environment
Everyone in the community can help keep it clean. Contact your local authorities to find out how you can get involved with cleanup in the community.
As you can see, there are a lot of volunteer ideas for a retiree. Volunteering provides a lot of benefits for both you and those you are volunteering with. Check around your community, there are a lot of opportunities to get out and about. The ones listed here are just a few great ideas.
If you are retired or nearing retirement and considering moving to Florida, consider Solivita Living. We are a real estate agency located in Kissimmee, Florida specializing in 55+ communities. We have Solivita, Four Seasons at Orlando, Trilogy, and Del Webb. We offer a variety of amenities to keep you active and engaged and you may even meet some new friends that you can volunteer with.