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Want to Live a Happier, Healthier Life as a Senior? Volunteer!

Volunteering in retirement

In the third quarter of 2020, about 28.6 million Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – reported that they were out of the labor force due to retirement, according to the Pew Research Center. Embarking into a new season of retirement can be both exciting and a bit scary for older adults. 

Community engagement, regardless of age, is vital to one’s well-being. Studies show that remaining actively engaged throughout one’s life extends cognitive, physical, and emotional health. But deciding how to stay relevant and engaged after leaving the workforce can be challenging. Volunteering is an excellent solution and increases your chances of living a happier, healthier life. 

These topics and more will be the focus of the Aging Advantages Summit, presented by CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

At the Summit, presenters will address how valuable senior volunteers are to our society and faith communities, as well as offer creative ways older adults can remain active.

According to the State of Aging in Central Indiana report (April 2021), older adults tend to connect with their community through friends and family and through religious activities. In this study, 78 percent of older adults said they provide help to friends or relatives, 64 percent participate in religious or spiritual activities, and 90 percent regularly visit with friends or family. 

Top 5 reasons retired adults should volunteer

Here are the top five reasons retired adults should volunteer, according to Senior Community Services: 

  1. Volunteering helps bridge the generation gap. Intergenerational interactions build a connection between seniors and younger people and offers both the respect and affirmation that we crave.
  2. Volunteering is an investment not only in others, but also yourself. A study at Wharton College found that volunteering makes you feel like you have more time and simultaneously that your time is more valuable. People who give of their time to help others feel more capable, confident and useful.
  3. Volunteering is good for mental health. Volunteering keeps the brain active, which contributes to cognitive health. The National Institute on Aging reported that participating in activities that are meaningful and productive may lower the risk of dementia and other health problems in seniors.
  4. Volunteering helps prevent isolation and depression. While getting out of the house is important at any age, research by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that individuals who engage in volunteering activities experience shorter periods of depression than those who do not volunteer, in part because volunteering provides connection as well as a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  5. Volunteering promotes physical activity, which remains an important contributor to positive health outcomes through the oldest ages. Whether that activity is helping with a local sports team, picking up trash in the neighborhood or volunteering as a senior companion, maintaining a healthy level of fitness helps fend off diseases as you age.

Get your ticket now for CICOA’s first Aging Advantages Summit on Oct. 6, and join us as we celebrate the impact of older adults in our community!