Volunteering is important at any age, and seniors who still have to ability to participate are seeing increased health benefits. We like to encourage residents at Denver retirement communities to volunteer as much as they can. It is a great way to stay active and social!
Health Benefits Reported Among Senior Corps Volunteers
Volunteers age 55 and over serve hundreds of thousands of people in their communities through Senior Corps programs. Now new research shows that the volunteers themselves are enjoying health benefits after just one year of service, including decreases in anxiety and depression, loneliness and social isolation. They also report enhanced physical capacity and higher life satisfaction.
Senior Corps is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency for service, volunteering and civic engagement. To look at the health benefits of volunteering for older adults, CNCS launched two longitudinal studies in 2015 that assess the impact of service on their Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs. Researchers found:
- Almost two-thirds of Senior Corps volunteers reported a decrease in feelings of isolation, and 67 percent of those who first reported they “often” lack companionship stated that they had improved social connections.
- Seventy percent of volunteers who initially reported five or more symptoms of depression reported fewer symptoms at the end of the first year.
- Sixty-three percent of volunteers who initially indicated three or four symptoms of depression reported fewer symptoms after one year.
“These preliminary findings support a larger body of research that highlights the positive impact of volunteering, particularly for older adults, and are a valuable addition to the conversation on healthy aging,” CNCS spokesperson Samantha Jo Warfield tells AARP. “Senior Corps volunteers are deeply dedicated to the communities they serve, spending 15-40 hours a week committed to a single organization, often for several years, developing intensive and ongoing relationships with those they serve.”
Read the full article here: Health Benefits Reported Among Senior Corps Volunteers – AARP http://bit.ly/2eQSOY4
Article Source on: Seniors Who Volunteer Notice Health Benefits