The Benefits of Getting Out into the Community and Volunteering with Your Senior
August 23, 2017There are many ways that you can encourage your elderly parent to live a higher quality of life as they age in place, but one of the most beneficial is getting them out into the community to volunteer. Volunteering can offer your elderly loved one a huge array of benefits, including reducing depression, supporting better mental and emotional health, and increasing their physical activity. While volunteering in the community can offer your senior many benefits, participating in these activities with your senior can increase the benefits for them and offer you benefits as well.Some of the benefits of getting out into the community and volunteering with your senior include:
- Quality time together. As a family caregiver you spend a considerable amount of time with your senior. It is easy, however, for this time to become all about your care efforts for them rather than spending valuable time together. Volunteering is a way to take a step away from your usual care routine and spend time together that will improve your relationship and allow you to make memories that you can cherish into the future.
- Reduce caregiver stress. Studies have shown that volunteering reduces stress and eases depression. As a family caregiver it is common to experience these challenges. Being able to reduce these feelings while also pursuing caregiver goals can maximize your time and improve your own health and well-being.
- Maintain social engagement. Staying socially active is extremely important for your elderly parent, but it is valuable for you as well. Interacting with others stimulates the mind, eases feelings of isolation and loneliness, boosts mental and emotional health, and reduces the feeling of being “alone” that is common for both seniors and caregivers.
- Create a stronger care network. Another benefit of increased social engagement is the ability to create a stronger care network for your senior and for you. It is very likely when you find volunteer opportunities for your parent that you will meet other seniors and their caregivers. These people can then become members of your care network, offering friendship, support, advice, and even help with care for your parent.