Retirement for some it’s a dreaded word that reminds them that their ‘prime years are over and done with. For others, it’s seen as a fresh start, kind of like the beginning of the rest of their lives. Which category do you fall in?
You might be concerned about what you could do after retiring; thinking life could possibly be a bit dull after the stress of work is out of your life.
Maybe you feel like you haven’t done quite enough of ‘giving back’ to society and the world at large. Fret not! There are loads of volunteer activities for senior citizens to partake in after retirement.
These volunteer activities can be done with a loved one and are not limited to senior citizens alone (just in case you have a relative you want to tag along with you).
By the time you get through our list, you’re definitely going to have a positive outlook on being able to enjoy these volunteer activities after retirement. Not only will these activities keep you busy, but also they will leave you with a sense of fulfillment.
Let’s get on with it!
The table of contents below will help you get an overview of all that this post, so do well to navigate through.
Table of Contents
- Who Is Volunteering?
- What Are The Benefits Of Volunteering For Senior Citizens?
- Pros and Cons of Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
- Top 10 Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
Who Is Volunteering?
According to Wikipedia, Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labor for community service.
Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work in, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.
Who Is A Volunteer?
A Volunteer is one who has the desire to do good. It is also a person who freely offers to take part in service without being paid.
What Are The Benefits Of Volunteering For Senior Citizens?
Undoubtedly, seniors make up a large portion of volunteers and are a key to community groups and organizations. With this in mind, seniors should participate in services geared towards their individual abilities and interests.
Here are the benefits of Volunteering For Senior Citizens
Pros and Cons of Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
While volunteering is an admirable activity, it’s better you understand the risks and rewards of volunteer work, so that you can make a better decision for yourself and your schedule. Here are the pros and cons of Volunteer Opportunities
Pros Of Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
Cons Of Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
Top 10 Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens
#1. Join a volunteer organization
There are several volunteer organizations available that were created especially to cater to the needs of senior citizens. These organizations cater to your desire to give back but also give you an avenue to have a companion. For example, AARP Foundation corps gives senior citizens the chance to dedicate their time to children who need help improving their reading skills. On their site it can be seen that there are roughly 2,000 trained volunteers working in more than 20 cities and serving more than 30,000 elementary schools each year. Another organization is Americorps seniors which has the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. This program allows participants to share the knowledge they have gained during their lifetime.
#2. Giving a Helping Hand to troops
If you’re retired military personnel looking for companionship, then this could possibly be perfect for you. Donating food, talking with stay-at-home moms, sharing war stories, staying home with the children are just a few of the activities that can be done with military families. You can visit the USO Volunteer website to join and find out more information about how to become a volunteer for military families.
#3. Help out at Your Local Library
Hey book lovers! This one is for you. Doesn’t it sound like a dream to spend your day surrounded by books? You can spend time recommending your favorites to first time readers or starting up a book club for your local library. Libraries are usually underfunded and looking for volunteers to help during business hours, which is a perfect volunteer opportunity for retired seniors, especially retired teachers. You can even help out the kiddies that come to the library to get their homework done. Think of all the good that you can do while still being able to read all the books you could ever want. What a thrill!
#4. Be a Foster Grandparent
This volunteer activity entails guiding students to higher academic achievement, caring for premature infants or children with disabilities, mentoring troubled teenagers and young mothers. Being a Foster Grandparent connects role models like you with young people with exceptional needs. You’ll forge new relationships with people in your community and make a significant difference in the lives of others. The organization Americorps offers a program for this particular activity. Visit their website to find out how you can be a part of this wonderful experience which will not only benefit you but also the younger generation.
#5. Walk Dogs
This is an ideal activity for dog lovers! A lot of dog owners don’t have the opportunity to take their dogs for walks due to their hectic schedules; this is of course excluding dog owners with large families. This provides a great opportunity not only to help out the owners but also helps you get a quick workout in. The Humane Society has branches across the country, and you can also find local shelters in your community. Senior citizen volunteers are also needed for animal care and training, as well as administrative work, animal rights advocacy and more.
#6. Join the Peace Corps
You probably are thinking if this is meant to be on a list of recommended volunteer activities for senior citizens but don’t be troubled. There is a new initiative that has been launched just for senior citizens. This would come as a shock to you, but the Peace Corps actually does not have an age limit. You can visit the Peace Corps Volunteer webpage and find out more information about the opportunities available. There’s a plus side to this, you get to volunteer with a loved one.
Also, check this: Ultimate Guide To Volunteering Abroad Under 18
#7. Provide a Hot Meal
Over 500,000 people in America experience homelessness on any given night, 12% of which are veterans. And these folks need help all year round, not just at the holidays. Senior citizen volunteers can donate their time by serving up a hot meal and a slice of humanity once a year, once a month or once a week at a local homeless shelter. You can also help gather the food they need by working at food pantry or organizing a food drive. You can also pick one person that you can share a meal with every day. This not only provides companionship but you’re also helping out a brother/sister in need.
#8. Collecting, Making and Distributing Clothes
This volunteer activity gives you the opportunity to help out the less privileged. You never know when that extra top or coat could help out someone in the community. Organize a clothes drive (highly similar to a food drive) have people donate clothes that they no longer wear or have some friends knit some cute and cozy sweaters. Fix a date and have people who need it come in to pick up whatever they want at no cost at all. You can liaise with your community center and church to make this a success.
#9. Volunteer Virtually
For those with limited mobility or transportation, you can still get involved! There are lots of organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer from home in retirement, like offering administrative help, knitting emotional support blankets, recording audiobooks, sending cards to cancer patients, teaching English, predicting cyclone behavior and more! There are organizations that you can join to volunteer virtually like, Do Something and Operation Warm idea. Check out their websites for more information.
#10. Organize a Fundraiser
This activity gives you room for a lot of creativity. Fundraising activities include but are not limited to: Car wash done by the younger generation, bake sale, auction event, art show, music concert, drama night, etc. The list is endless. With the funds raised, you can donate it to any local shelter, charity or even Red Cross.
There are tons of volunteer activities that senior citizens can partake in to keep them engaged. Hopefully this list has given you loads of ideas to try out! Cheers!
Now you can see that not only young people can volunteer. Nowadays, most people over 50 are more fit than most 20-year-olds, so age should not hold anyone back from volunteering.
Whether you’re in your twenties or well in your sixties, everyone should be able to volunteer and enjoy the great benefits of volunteering abroad.
I believe this article has given you more information about volunteer opportunities for senior citizens.