Giving back through volunteering doesn’t just help people in need; it’s also great for senior health. Research has proven that seniors who regularly volunteer live longer, have less depression, and report fewer mobility issues, compared to non-volunteers.
These benefits and others are why volunteering is so popular among older adults. In fact, according to AgingInPlace.com, seniors make up almost 25% of the volunteer population, and if you include the 55-64 demographic, it’s more than 35%.
So where should you begin if you’re interested in helping others? Read on for easy ways to seek volunteering opportunities for seniors.
How to Make an Impact Volunteering
Below are 7 volunteering opportunities for seniors where you can make a world of difference in your community and beyond. Under each one, you’ll see details about specific organizations where the type of help is needed, or information on how and where to get started in your local area.
Collecting, Serving, Preparing, or Distributing Food
- Meals on Wheels – Deliver warm meals and a bit of much-appreciated conversation to housebound community members.
- Feeding America – Help local food pantries with various needs, such as stocking, customer service, deliveries, collecting produce from community gardens, and more
Helping Build Homes or Clean Up Parks and/or the Environment
- Habitat for Humanity – Participate in the construction of homes alongside the new homeowners, and help others realize their homeownership dreams. No experience needed but always welcomed.
- DoSomething.org – Find local opportunities to make a positive impact on the environment in your community.
Tutoring, Teaching, or Mentoring Youth
- Learn To Be – Seeking volunteers interested in online tutoring opportunities with school-age kids.
- Upchieve.org – Find online tutoring and counseling opportunities to help low-income high school students achieve their academic goals.
Helping Out Animal Shelters or Animal Rescues
- Local Animal Shelter Volunteer – Help care for dogs and cats waiting for adoption.
- American Humane – Be trained to help animals after a disaster.
Playing Music at Hospitals for Patients and Families
- Musicians On Call – Deliver the healing power of music to patients with your instrument, or become a Volunteer Guide who escorts Volunteer Musicians from room to room.
- The Joy of Music School – Find out how to share your musical gifts with deserving children from your community.
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans – Discover numerous opportunities to get involved and help homeless veterans gain self-sufficiency.
- DAV – Engage in volunteering for vets by making hospital visits, buying groceries, running errands, and much more.
Training Service Animals or Transporting Shelter Animals to New Homes
- Canine Companions – Raise puppies, care for breeding dogs, and more through this organization that trains service dogs for people with disabilities.
- Best Friends Pet Transport – Help homeless cats and dogs get from high-volume intake areas to shelters and rescue groups in regions of the country where they have a much greater chance of finding homes.
For inspiration and other local and/or global volunteer opportunities that might be of interest, be sure to visit these websites:
- Senior Corps through AmeriCorps – Explore volunteering opportunities especially
- VolunteerMatch – Sign up to receive notifications of volunteering opportunities for seniors in your community.
- AARP Experience Corps – Volunteer to help children become great readers before completing third grade.
Our Residents Love to Volunteer and Live Life to the Fullest
Our lifestyle philosophy at Timber Ridge is to connect residents with a wide variety of experiences and opportunities that elevate their well-being, enjoyment, and personal satisfaction. Many of them are active volunteers who love helping others and appreciate the good feelings that come with giving back. If you’d like to learn more about independent living or the Timber Ridge lifestyle, reach out to us so we can tell you more and arrange a tour.