The Power of Giving Back as We AgeSeptember 21, 2017 | Chateau Brickyard
Volunteering isn't just for high school seniors. Studies have shown volunteerism can have a great impact on the lives of older adults, especially those who live in independent living communities, those who have recently suffered a loss, and those who are recovering from an illness or who face the daily struggles of a chronic disease. We will explain the benefits of volunteerism for seniors and describe the ways that Chateau Brickyard residents give back to our Salt Lake City, UT, community.
The Benefits of Volunteering in Old Age
According to research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, individuals who participate in a senior volunteer program may gain many benefits from their work. These benefits can include lower rates of depression, increased strength and stamina, improved cognitive function, increased self-esteem, and a greater well-being overall.
Volunteering can also help seniors find purpose after they have lost a loved one or experienced a tragedy. Volunteerism is also beneficial to seniors who have recently retired, moved from the home they have lived in for years, or moved into an independent living community. Focusing on work and something outside of themselves can help to decrease depression and allows them to feel positive again.
Seniors living in rural areas or new towns can meet new people, make new friends, and explore new places through volunteer work. Additionally, seniors new to town can gain new skills or try a new hobby through volunteerism, which may improve cognition and self-esteem.
Ideal Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors
Senior volunteer work doesn't have to be a chore; people often assume that it will be physically difficult, the hours will be long, or the work will be boring or unfulfilling. This isn't and doesn't have to be true. The ideal volunteer opportunity will be different for each person and should be catered to that person's interests, abilities, and passions.
Some of the most popular volunteer work that seniors participate in includes tutoring and mentoring kids and at-risk youth, caring for homeless animals, working at local libraries, serving meals to the needy, volunteering at a hospital, working at local historic theaters and museums, and making crafts and handmade goods to sell or donate.
Residents of Chateau Brickyard Give Back
The residents of Chateau Brickyard work with several organizations to give back to the local Salt Lake City community and to the senior community at large:
XOXO Hats for Strength
We work with XOXO Hats for Strength, a wonderful organization that helps individuals and families affected by cancer. Our residents knit hats for cancer patients several times a year on behalf of this group. This community effort can help to bring comfort to those going through chemotherapy.
Utah Food Bank
We also work with the Utah Food Bank in an effort to fight hunger in our local communities. We recently completed a 5-week food drive, where our residents collected canned goods. One resident in particular, Mr.Tanner, donated an impressive 15 cans!
Alzheimer's research and care is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts here at Chateau Brickyard, which is why we work with the Alzheimer's Association. Most recently, on September 17th, our staff and residents participated in the 2-mile Walk to End Alzheimer's, which aims to spread awareness and raise funds for Alzheimer's research.
Volunteerism helps seniors stay mentally and physically healthy, happy, and connected to their communities at large. Whether the individual is collecting canned goods for the local food bank, knitting caps for a hospital, or teaching young children to read, he or she is spreading positivity and kindness to their city.
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