Volunteering Seniors & Volunteers for Seniors
Volunteers are essential to the smooth operation of many community services and program that make a real difference in the lives of many. The importance of volunteerism appears to benefit both the people serving and those being served. For seniors, volunteering and sharing accumulated wisdom is a critical component of their developmental process. Volunteerism encourages social connectedness, purpose, meaning, and hopefulness. These factors play an integral role in the overall health and wellness of older adults.
Senior Community Programs
In San Diego, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program has been asking for volunteers to provide non-critical police services, alleviating the burden so that officers have more time to perform their duties. Sine 1997 this program has been training volunteers, providing them with an unmarked police car, complete with computerized license-plate scanners, sirens, radios, and lights. Some of their duties include enforcing parking regulations, locating missing vehicles, and checking in on seniors at their homes. Continuing for two decades now, this program has expanded since its inception, due to the successes and support that these volunteers are providing to emergency services in the area.
Helping Students Through Mentorship
Over in Cleveland, students at a local university are turning down their dorm rooms to live in senior care homes instead. One of those students, a musician who plays the oboe, has been filling her new home with music as she studies for her Master’s degree. The senior residents benefit from music filled halls and the student benefits from an established community available to support and cheer her along the way. Residents of the care home also mentor younger students in grade school, valuing the opportunity to help students in their studies, or sharing stories that might benefit a young person’s life. This type of reciprocal relationship is becoming increasingly common across the fields of education and gerontology; mentorship is a great resource for individuals at every age.
If you have been interested in volunteering, but haven’t known where to begin, there are always organizations looking for a helping hand. Take a look at the South Bay Volunteer Center’s website for some exciting opportunities that can give you a jump start in the world of volunteerism. Who knows, it might be you who’s helped the most.
When it comes to caring for seniors, Always Best Care knows that building communities can have significant health benefits, and we support all opportunities to help senior live their best lives.