Research Shows Volunteering Seniors Better Maintain Physical and Mental Health
Senior volunteers are making a difference each day, not just in local churches, community organizations, neighborhoods, senior centers, and healthcare organizations, but in their own physical and emotional wellbeing. In a recent poll conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network, 95 percent of seniors volunteering are healthier and happier than seniors who do not.
Volunteering can pay special dividends for seniors who have chronic health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. Three-fourths of senior volunteers surveyed (75 percent) who have chronic conditions say that staying active through volunteering helps them manage these conditions and seniors with chronic conditions devote slightly more hours to community service each month when compared with seniors who have no chronic conditions. Almost all senior volunteers surveyed (98 percent) shared that volunteering helps them stay active and they feel better physically.
Volunteering Cures Depression
But the benefits go much deeper. According to the research, seven in 10 senior volunteers say they overcome feelings of being isolated and depressed through volunteering. Giving back to the community also enables seniors to develop and maintain important social connections, learn more skills, and pursue new interests. Four in 10 seniors shared they typically volunteer with someone else, usually a friend or their spouse and many (84 percent) have used their community service to encourage their children to give back to their communities.
“We know from our work with seniors that the more active an individual the more likely that he or she will continue to remain independent while aging. Those who find a way to give back, even if they have their own aches and pains and need help, realize many benefits,” shared Jeff Huber, President and Chief Operating Officer of Home Instead Senior Care.
Home Instead Senior Care has launched the Salute to Senior Service℠ program (SalutetoSeniorService.com) to honor the many volunteer contributions that older adults make to this nation. This initiative, which began on January 15, 2012, includes a search for the country’s most outstanding Senior Hero℠ in each state and culminates with the selection of a national Salute to Senior Service winner during Older Americans Month in May.
The Home Instead Senior Care network completed 600 telephone interviews with seniors age 65 and older in the U.S. who currently volunteer their time through unpaid community service. The sampling error is +/-4.0% at a 95% confidence level.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.