We all view retirement differently. Some envision retirement as a time to travel the world, others might possibly view retirement as a chance to make home improvements. Perhaps others view retirement as a time to visit friends and family or even work a part-time job as your grandchildren’s babysitter. After years of dedicating ourselves to our professional careers, we are entitled to enjoy ourselves however we choose.
According to the Social Security Administration, approximately 10,000 people turn 65 years old every day. While turning 65 years old does not automatically qualify an individual for retirement, these two milestones have been closely associated to one another. While it is understandable to think that retirement should be a time for individuals to take care of the priorities in their lives, retirement also brings about the opportunity to possess the free time needed to volunteer. In fact the US News & World Report surveyed new retirees and found that only 36% planned on actively volunteering during their retirement. However many do not realize the potential benefits volunteering can have on enhancing the quality of their lives.
As reported by AARP, retirees who choose to volunteer will be able to benefit from various mental and physical health benefits such as:
1) Decreased risk of depression
2) Increased and stimulated brain functioning
3) Decreased stress levels
4) Increased overall happiness
5) Decreased blood pressure levels
6) Global opportunities to volunteer abroad
Studies show that even volunteering as little as 100 hours per year can factor in helping individuals live longer and healthier lives (Kim, Yeung & Zhang, 2018). Regardless of your reason for wanting to volunteer, organizations in Our Community, and their various constituents, can benefit from the time you donate to helping their cause. For example, Keiro recently trained 10 new volunteers to become facilitators for our “Introduction to iPad” course. These facilitators will have the opportunity to teach members in our community how iPads can help them stay socially connected. If you are interested in volunteering for an organization like Keiro, the first step is to contact a representative from the organization to find out about any volunteer opportunities. Not all volunteer opportunities are the same, so it is important to take the time to find a volunteer program that matches your interests. For questions regarding Keiro’s volunteer program please contact Kevin Onishi at [email protected] or at 213.873.5713.
Kim, T., Yeung, J. & Zhang, Z. (2018). Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms. BMC Public Health 18(8) 1-8