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Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors
at Senior Centers

 
Volunteering has been proven to have several benefits. For seniors who are looking for ways to get involved with volunteering your local senior center is a great place to start. Let’s look at the benefits of volunteering as well as some of the volunteering opportunities that exist:

Benefits of Volunteering

Learn or Develop a New Skill

Lifelong learning keeps the body and mind sharp and active. You can pick up a new hobby or skill that will add value to your life and bring you enjoyment. Just because you are older does not mean you have to stop learning.

Sense of Achievement and Purpose

Ask anyone who volunteers and they will tell you that they get much more out of it than those who benefit from their services. Volunteering brings with it a great sense of achievement and purpose. It helps you to lay your head down at night knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. The healthiest and happiest seniors are the ones who achieve things and are motivated by a purpose larger than themselves.

Give back to Your Community

You’re never too old to give back to your community. Seniors have a lot to offer their peers and their community. Senior centers are often understaffed and in great need of help. One senior volunteer can make a tremendous impact on the center’s ability to serve its clients.

Combats Depression

Research shows that people who volunteer suffer from lower rates of depression than those who do not. Volunteers are people who look for ways to give to others and while doing so receive. It’s hard to get depressed knowing that your actions are making a difference in the people around you.

Fun

Volunteering at your local senior center is just plain fun! There are always different activities that you can get involved with and have a great time while doing it.

Social Interaction and Friendship

For many younger people life is about accomplishments, but as you get older you realize that making lasting meaningful relationships is what it’s all about. Volunteering is inherently social and you’ll make a lot of great friends and meet a lot of people when you volunteer at your local senior center.

Let’s take a look at some of the volunteering activities available at a senior center:

Clubs:

College campuses and high schools aren’t the only places where you can start a club. Starting a club based on your favorite cause or activity is a great way to get involved. Club ideas include:

· Religious
· Senior Advocacy
· Travel
· Environmental
· Sports
· Community Service
· Military

Activities:

Senior centers are always looking for people to be in charge of an activity group. Activities keep the mind and body sharp and are great ways to learn a new skill and have fun. Some of the best senior activities include:

· Arts and crafts
· Technology
· Photography
· Science
· Literature
· Gardening
· Chess
· Foreign Languages

Counseling:

Seniors who have a background in counseling can be of great assistance to their peers. Many times it is easier to share problems with a peer. Seniors can provide group or individual counseling for mental health issues or provide financial counseling on topics such as health insurance, retirement, and estate planning.

Dining Help:

This can be one of the largest areas of need at a senior center. If you like working in the kitchen there are several positions available including:

· Cook
· Dish Room Assistant
· Greeter

Home Care

Home care is a great way for seniors who can still drive to visit their peers who may be home bound. Seniors can help other seniors by visiting them in their homes and helping out in the following ways:

· Light house work
· Companionship
· Personal care
· Transportation needs
· Shopping
· Paying bills

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