Successful Volunteering

by Lois Etienne on March 27, 2012

in Caregiver Support,Grandmothers,Legal,Lifestyle,Senior Health and Safety

Our parent organization, the Home Instead Senior Care® network, recently performed research on senior volunteers and found some truly interesting facts about what makes volunteering enriching and fun for people in their golden years.

Several seniors who have learned how to give of themselves in a sustained way had some secrets to share about how to enjoy community service as long as possible. Tips from these seniors included the following:

1. Find something to be passionate about. Whether it’s helping to feed the homeless at a shelter, being a docent, helping at a pet shelter or making baby bonnets, there is something for everyone and every passion. Finding the role that really tickles your fancy is the key to keeping it interesting.

2. Find a cause where there is a real need. Not only are there more people in need today than ever before, but non-profit and community service organizations are more taxed than ever too

3. Giggle your way out a bad day. For a quick “laugh fix,” visit CaregiverStress.comSMand “Laugh with Mary Maxwell.” Mary’s delightful perspective on life as a senior will help get rid of the bad day blues!

4. Don’t set the bar too high. We all want things to go well, but sometimes they just don’t. Cheerfully taking the good with the bad and making the best of whatever challenges occur will help you and everyone around you “go with the flow.”

5. Be joyful. Whether you’re building, baking, organizing, reading or caring for another person, make sure it brings you joy.

6. Give yourself a break. Do not overdo it.

7. Ignore negativity. There is “one in every crowd,” as they say. Seek out those who share your interests, have a “team” mentality, and are about the greater good.

Need ideas for ways to make a difference? Here is a brief overview of the primary volunteer activities of seniors:

  • 47% volunteer with churches and religious organizations
  • 16% work in senior centers or other senior-related services
  • 10% work in hospitals or healthcare organizations
  • 10% work with schools, educational services and youth programs
  • 7% volunteer with social services and nonprofit organizations

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