Posts Tagged volunteer

Artist Michael Reagan

Have you ever been inspired by a senior who his making a difference in the world?  Here is a video on artist Michael Reagan, a man who has taken his love for art and turned his craft into fundraising for charity and donating art to the family of fallen American soldiers.

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The Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors

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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.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_seniors_get_from_giving_back

 

 

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Retiring Later May Help Prevent Dementia

 

Retiring Later May Help Prevent Dementia, Study Finds.

A recent study in France showed that there is a decreased risk for dementia for each year you postpone retirement. Nearly half a million adults in France were studied (apparently, France keeps very detailed medical records). Working helps keep us physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged. The saying is true: if you don’t use it, you just might loose it.

It was noted, that some seniors are just as busy during retirement. It is possible to continue to keep your brain active. You can volunteer, take a college class, or learn a new skill.  The point is, in whatever you decide to do, be consistent.  Do not go back to sitting around watching TV and living a sedentary life-style.

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Have A Generous Spirit? You May Live Longer…

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USATODAY.com – Generous spirit may yield generous life span.

Even thought this article 10 years old, it is still relevant.  For seniors, the desire to volunteer, or to continue to give to others appears to actually increase life expectancy.  A scientific study was conducted and found this to be true. It found that people who were primarily on the “receiving” end, did NOT live longer.  Those who were “givers” tended to live longer.
Note- a “giver” was not defined as a caregiver for someone with a serious illness like Alzheimer’s. Those caregivers who give and give tend to burn out, and actually have more health problems. Interesting.

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The Loss of a Hobby

I recently met an older woman and her husband here in Germany.  She was very friendly and described one of her favorite past times: square dancing.  She and her husband danced for many years, even when they retired.  They traveled to different countries, such as the US in competitions.  Dancing was a love for her.  It gave her physical exercise, social interaction with new people, allowed her to visit new cities and countries, and provided an activity she and her husband could enjoy together (thus strengthening their marriage).

She looked down in sadness as she spoke to us, describing the end of their dancing, as she had to have a hip replacement.  The hip replacement promised many additional years of her favorite past time. Unfortunately, there were complications and she can no longer dance.  Loosing the ability to dance not only affected her, it affected her husband (who no longer has a partner) and their close friends with whom they danced and traveled.  It was a substantial loss. Read the rest of this entry »

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