If you’ve been thinking of volunteering, consider that studies have shown volunteers live longer and are healthier. In fact, later in life, volunteering is even more beneficial for one’s health than exercising and eating well. Older people who volunteer remain physically functional longer and have more robust psychological wellbeing. However, older people who volunteer are almost always people who volunteered earlier in life. Health and longevity gains from volunteering come from establishing meaningful volunteer roles before you retire and into your post-retirement years.
Volunteering helps establish strong relationships. Despite all of the online connections that are available at our fingertips, people are lonelier now than ever before. Indeed, studies report that the prevalence of loneliness is at an all-time high, with about one in three adults aged 45 or older categorized as lonely. Online connections, while useful for maintaining existing relationships, are not very helpful in establishing lasting, new ones. Working alongside people who feel as strongly as you do about supporting a particular cause creates a path to developing strong relationships with others. It isn’t just beneficial for making new friendships, either: Volunteering alongside other members of your family strengthens family bonds. And these benefits have a ripple effect. Children who volunteer with their parents are more likely to become adults who volunteer.
Volunteering is also good for society. Many businesses, and almost all mission-driven organizations, are successful only if they maintain a strong volunteer workforce. In fact, places like museums, social service organizations, and faith-based organizations often rely more on volunteers than paid workers to meet their goals and fulfill their missions. These businesses are committed to doing good things for society. They pick up the pieces where government programs leave off, and by volunteering for these organizations, you participate in helping society meet the needs of people from all walks of life.
If you are interested in volunteering for McCormick Home or McCormick Dementia Services, please complete the volunteer application form or call 519-432-2648, ext. 2372.