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Volunteers make the world a better place and help many important organizations survive. But did you know that volunteering is good for your health as well?
Here are five reasons why:
Making new friends with similar interests is a proven strategy to provide mental stimulation and maintain communication skills, especially as we age.
2. Support Network
Even if you have family living close by, your support network can never be too deep when you need help for any reason. Your support network has a direct impact on your health and safety by making sure you have transportation, are well-cared for, avoid debilitating falls, and so much more.
Depression sneaks up on people, especially when they become isolated. Being with others and making positive contributions counteracts the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. Researchers have discovered that being helpful to others provides immense pleasure and that the more we give, the happier we feel.
4. Physical Health
Volunteering keeps you moving. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not because volunteers tend to walk more, remain more limber, and find it easier to cope with everyday tasks. This also tends to lessen symptoms of chronic pain, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Many older adults find they simply aren’t having enough fun in their lives. Volunteering provides you with the ability to pursue new interests that you never had time for. Like to cook, garden, or read? Soup kitchens often need volunteer cooks. Community gardens and parks need help with planting and maintenance. And your local library probably has volunteer reading programs for children.
There are many volunteer opportunities available. Look for a position that you will enjoy, are capable of doing, and fits your choice of time commitment. Investigate opportunities with your local animal shelter, parks department, library, church, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, and healthcare organizations. Our own VNA welcomes volunteers for a number of programs to benefit our homebound and elderly patients and their caregivers.
And if your skillset includes fundraising you will be in high demand by most nonprofit organizations. Just make sure the situation is a good fit for you so it doesn’t feel like an obligation instead of a joy.
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.