This was a very interesting article related to volunteers over age 50. It was conducted in 2005 and 2006 and published in the journal of The Gerontologist. It showed that there were three important factors that were most beneficial to the volunteer, and produced the best outcomes:
- Receiving a choice of activities (or areas in which to volunteer) and flexibility to work within their own schedules
- Receiving an adequate training from the organization
- Receiving on-going support from the organization
When the seniors received all of these items, they were more satisfied and fulfilled in their position. When followed up a year later, these seniors reported they had “socioemotional” benefits which included: significant improvements in their mental health, a greater feeling of productivity, increased social activity, and an overall sense that their life had improved.