By Jenn Walker
As the years go by, maintaining an active lifestyle as a senior can be challenging, more so if you lived a low-key life in your youthful years. We understand that physical strength may not be like it used to be, but there are less-straining activities that you can participate in that can give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose. One such activity encouraged, especially for those living amongst the independent senior living community, is volunteering. Here are some ways that seniors can give back:
Beautify the Community
Gardening is a common activity for many retired seniors. It allows them to stay active and get outside while being a generally low-stress endeavor. Seniors can bring this hobby to the rest of the world by beautifying their community.
You can start by volunteering, taking care of the flowerbeds outside the homes, trimming the shrubs, or cleaning up the park. Later on, you can participate in the outdoors by tending to flower gardens in the public parks or even painting decorative pots or plants for the public parks. You will be shocked at how many souls you will have inspired by doing that.
Knit Items for the Needy
Knitting is another craft that seniors may have been good at in their youthful years. Besides using the art for volunteer work, it is also an enjoyable way to keep your mind engaged and pass the time. Knitting also reduces anxiety and controls the heart rate and blood pressure to the required state.
There are many things that seniors can knit for volunteer work, including sweaters, hats, blankets, and scarves. You can also crochet newborn baby stuff. You will be surprised at how many mothers need that extra help in hospitals. To add to the excitement of doing this, various knitting clubs intentionally knit up items for donations. Joining such clubs would help boost your knitting morale as you also enhance your social life.
Do Youth Mentorship Programs
It’s possible to imagine that the youth have nothing to learn from you because of the huge generational gap, but this isn’t true. There are some unique teachings and values which only seniors can instill in the youths. Many youths are suffering from depression, and some have gone through things they never want to share with anyone without feeling judged. They are more likely to open up to a senior and expect not to get judged, which can help them heal quickly.
In the process, you can share your life experiences and mentor them to participate in rare hobbies like knitting or invite them as you do the public volunteering. You certainly can use an extra hand in that as you pass a message of hope to them. That way, they can also pass down the skills they’ve learned down to the upcoming generation.
Participate in Local Food Drives
Sadly, there’s a massive number of people in need of food donations in the country. Of course, it can be hard to provide food for everyone who badly needs it, and it is also hard to do it on your own. A simplistic way of doing a food drive is to collect canned foods, which you can later distribute locally to shelters and food banks.
Alternatively, you can support food banks by helping them collect food donations either by running an online food drive and requesting people to donate the most needed food items. Food banks will later help distribute the contributions to hunger-relief charities.
Volunteer In Your Local Church
There’s always a satisfaction that comes with spirituality. The church is one place that requires the most volunteer work. As you connect with your supreme being, you can equally participate in various church activities like; church cleaning, ushering, altar decorating, leading in some of the weekly programs, teaching in Sunday school, etc. The choices are too many, so choose whatever suits you and whatever brings you joy.
Join Charitable Organization
Red Cross is a renowned charity organization that helps many people get back on their feet, especially after a natural disaster. In the aftermath of such occurrences, volunteers help victims with first aid, water, food, and other necessities. If you’re a nurse, they would need much of your services in situations like blood donations. If you’re good at office work, you can take up part-time positions to fit the organization’s roles to continue the good cause.
The best thing about volunteer work is that numerous opportunities are open and non-exhaustible. The things that seem obvious and available to some are not available for others. So, if you want to get into volunteer work, don’t get tired of exploring different options to make someone else smile.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.