When older adults move into a retirement community, they often find they have a renewed passion for creating a lasting impact. Whether through social activities or giving back, there are many ways for seniors to spend their new-found free time in a way that suits their passions. In fact, many find that volunteer work and community service are the perfect choice.
Whether your volunteer pursuits are ongoing, or you simply want to embrace opportunities as they arise, there are many advantages that seniors who volunteer during their retirement can enjoy. The Mayo Clinic shares that improved physical and mental health, a sense of purpose, and nurtured relationships are some of the advantages you may experience when you volunteer.
When you’re volunteering, it’s hard not to feel a little spark of happiness in doing something good for others. The reality is that giving back to those in need isn’t just beneficial for the recipient, but it is also a fulfilling experience for the volunteer themselves. Giving back can:
- Increase relaxation
- Enhance happiness
- Decrease anxiety
- Lessen the effects of stress
- Provide a renewed sense of purpose
- Boost self-esteem
- Positively impact confidence
- Strengthen an older adult’s independence
Did you know that volunteering also helps seniors stay active? It’s true, according to the Mayo Clinic; volunteers often report better physical health than non-volunteers! So, if fitness is one of your goals during retirement, finding a volunteer opportunity that also keeps you active is a bonus.
Volunteering gives seniors the opportunity to be actively engaged with others for a common purpose. It allows them to meet new, interesting people and feel more connected to their community. The more involved a person is, the less likely they will have feelings of isolation and depression. In other words, more volunteering often equates to more socializing, which can sharpen cognitive skills, increase happiness and may even help seniors living longer!
If you have a passion for helping others, giving back or simply caring, options abound! No matter your interests, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available for you to try out.
- Volunteer at a pet or homeless shelter
- Read to kindergarten classes or tutor high school students
- Spend time with those who are home-bound or are in skilled nursing
- Begin volunteering with a local health care service
- Educate other older adults about their senior care and living options
- Share your talents by teaching a class or organizing activities
- Host monthly dinners for new senior living community residents
- Show prospective residents around your community
- Donate clothing to local shelters or churches
- Volunteer your time at a local food bank
- Ask your local place of worship what their biggest needs are for volunteers
Local Volunteer Opportunities in Westchester County
For those interested in volunteering locally, there are many opportunities close to White Plains and in the greater Westchester area. Check out some of these organizations that may offer a good fit for your volunteer interests and talents.
Lifting Up Westchester
This organization strives to restore hope to Westchester County’s homeless individuals and families by providing food, shelter and support – and in turn creating a stronger society. Volunteers are needed for after-school mentoring, summer camps, outreach programs, maintenance projects, administrative tasks and more.
Humane Society of Westchester
Those who love animals can find volunteer opportunities at this local shelter.
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
The goal of the United Way is to help residents in Westchester and Putnam become more self-sufficient and thrive in a stronger local community. Learn more about volunteer opportunities on their website.
At Feeding Westchester, the mission is to bring healthy meals to those in Westchester County who don’t have access to the food they need to thrive. Volunteers play an important role in the fight against hunger – from raising funds to packing food and more.
DOROT is a non-profit organization that is focused on making a positive impact on the lives of older adults in Westchester. They offer one-time, periodic and weekly volunteer opportunities that range from visitation to teaching classes to office work and more.
My Sister’s Place
This non-profit organization located in White Plains is committed to ending domestic violence and human trafficking. Volunteers are invited to participate in fundraisers or to send handmade notes, pictures, poems, etc. to share with the women and families they are supporting. Learn more about the organization and available volunteer opportunities online.
Do you have any additional ideas for ways to volunteer locally? If you’d like to share them with us or learn how our own residents are getting involved, contact us today. We’d love to show you around and give you an inside look at our lifestyle!
Waterstone of Westchester is the area’s premier independent living community. We’re close to exquisite shopping, close to fine dining, close to volunteer opportunities and close to your heart. Come visit our beautiful location and see what Waterstone can offer you.