When retirement leaves you plenty of time on your hands, you might find that giving back to your community is something you’d like to begin exploring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of older U.S. adults volunteer. This involvement is needed in most communities because retirees are uniquely able to help out in ways that the full-time employed are not. Here are some of the benefits of volunteering and a list of ways you can get involved in your community as a retiree.
Benefits of Community Involvement After You Retire
There are a number of reasons to consider volunteering in your community, including increasing your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. According to a data review published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who volunteered roughly two hours per week over four years experience:
- Increased amounts of physical activity
- Reduced risk of limited physical functions
- Better psychosocial outcomes, such as high rates of optimism or a stronger sense of purpose
- Increased socialization
- Reduced risk of mortality
While it’s not a requirement, volunteering in your community is one way you can extend your vocational legacy, meaning you can continue to use your lifelong accumulation of skills to help others.
7 Ways to Be Involved in Your Community in Retirement
While staying involved in the community is beneficial at any age, it can add specific purpose and meaning to retirees who are looking to build lasting friendships and make a valuable contribution. If you need some inspiration, here are seven ways to be involved in your community in retirement.
1. Work at a Hospital
Most hospitals rely on volunteer help for a variety of services. Examples include working in the gift shop, providing office help, visiting with patients, and assisting with health education.
2. Volunteer at a School
Schools are always in need of volunteers to help with reading, playtime, and other activities. This could be an excellent option if you have a group of retirees who are looking to volunteer together.
3. Answer the Phone
You can volunteer your time to answer the phone at a hotline for various organizations like Children in Crisis, suicide prevention, and addiction assistance.
4. Become a Docent or Mentor
Many organizations offer docent positions, which are volunteer educators or guides. Some examples include museums, botanical gardens, planetariums, and equestrian parks. You may also be able to become a mentor or consultant for those looking to enter the career field you have had much experience in.
5. Deliver Meals
“Meals on Wheels” is an official organization that is active in many older adult communities. They rely on volunteers to deliver meals to people who are too sick or financially unable to provide for themselves.
6. Campaign for a Cause
If you are passionate about a cause, such as helping stray animals or something political, you can devote some of your time to collecting goods or donations to help that cause achieve its goals.
7. Donate Your Hobbies or Crafts
If you enjoy a hobby, like woodworking, or craft, like knitting, you can donate your time or products to local charities in need. For example, some people knit free caps for newborns or scarves for the homeless.
Finding the Ideal Retirement Community to Support Your Lifestyle
You should be able to find opportunities for community involvement wherever you settle. But you’ll find the activities more enjoyable if you’re living in a community that supports your health, wellness, and retirement lifestyle. Solivita Living can be the ideal solution if you’re considering retirement living in the Central Florida area.
We specialize in 55+ communities, offering a wide variety of activities for older adults. Contact us to learn more about our communities and how they can support your active lifestyle.