Giving back through service is a fun and effective way for many seniors to stay engaged with the community. At any given time, Portneuf Medical Center may have 40 to 60 volunteers on hand to help assist patients and staff with daily to-dos, and many of these helpers are seniors. Volunteering can be emotionally, mentally, and physically beneficial for adults later in life, offering opportunities to connect, stay active, and care for others.
Specifically, volunteering may:
- Decrease depression. Surrounding yourself with others may reduce loneliness and stress often caused by social isolation.
- Enhance self-confidence. Helping your community comes with a certain sense of accomplishment, direction, and optimism.
- Improve physical fitness. Just getting off of the couch pays dividends when it comes to health. Walking regularly may improve cardiovascular health and decrease stress levels.
- Stimulate the brain. Being busy and active can help reduce the symptoms of dementia.
- Widen social circles. Volunteering offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with others.
“Volunteers who are retired or who have experienced loss and illness themselves or with family are such treasured assets,” says Monica White, Director of Volunteer Services with PMC. “They know what a lot of our patients are going through and have so much to teach everyone.”