The children are grown and raising families of their own. You’ve retired, and your schedule is wide open to do all the things on your wish list. You can travel, relax by the pool and lunch with friends. But what else? What can you do to regain the sense of purpose you felt with your work or to feel needed like when you were raising your family? How about volunteering? Not only does it fill the time, but there are great health benefits, as well.
Where to volunteer
Hospitals, like Frederick Memorial, often have an auxiliary that organizes volunteer efforts. There are usually varied opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer. They will provide training for your position and are happy to have the help.
The scope of volunteering at a hospital can vary, you could be a volunteer grandparent and hold premature babies in the NICU. You could work the front desk and guide people to the rooms of their loved ones or give updates to those waiting in the surgical center. Check with your local hospital to see where their needs lie.
Childcare centers and local libraries are other locations that benefit greatly from volunteering. Local churches often host vacation bible school during the summer months and need the help of volunteers. If you are looking to find your perfect match, please visit VolunteerMatch and they will help you find your dream volunteer position.
Reduce depression symptoms
Getting out into the community and having people count on you and your abilities will give you a sense of responsibility and purpose. It also gives you an opportunity for social engagement and creating new friendships. Having these relationships are great for keeping the symptoms of depression at bay.
Improve relationships between generations
If you are volunteering at a daycare or other educational facility, you will be working and interacting with a younger generation. You will have an opportunity to develop relationships with people that you may not otherwise meet and narrow the generational gap. Share your knowledge and experience while learning a bit about the youth of today, as well.
Depending on your abilities, you may consider walking dogs
at the local animal shelter. This
gives you an opportunity to maintain physical exercise which helps prevent
injury and illness. If you are volunteering at a daycare or church youth
program, the little ones are sure to keep you active and having tons of fun
during the day.
Do it with your caregiver
Research has shown that volunteering can provide benefits to those with limited mobility or chronic health conditions, too. If you no longer drive or need assistance getting around, the caregivers at Shepherd’s Staff In-home Care are happy to accompany you to your volunteer position and hep with any assistance you may need.
Being a volunteer is a great way to stay connected in the community and be of service to others. Remember that the best volunteer experiences will not only benefit the organization, but the volunteer, as well. It’s a win-win for all involved.