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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Get Involved and Reap Rewards

Get Involved and Reap Rewards

Volunteering helps residents, families and communities

Most parents are involved to some degree in the parent teacher organizations at their children’s schools. The same concept applies for senior living. When your loved one moves to a retirement community, you should make it a priority to become a part of that community. Volunteering is a great way to get involved. Give freely of your time and your talents, and you and your loved will certainly reap the rewards.

Much like schools, senior living communities welcome volunteers from the larger community. They are especially keen to get residents’ family members involved. Volunteers often engage in friendly visiting or help out with special events or fundraising activities. Some volunteers lead discussion groups, accompany residents for walks or share a special talent. Most communities are open to ideas for potential volunteer assistance.

Benefits for Residents

According to “The Benefits of Volunteering at a Senior Living Community,” by Marissa Salvesen, volunteers are essential to the operation of senior living communities and the well being of residents. “Volunteers can offer much-needed time and assistance, such as helping a resident organize a closet, writing cards or notes, or recording a resident’s life story; all tasks that can help families with the responsibilities of caregiving, providing them peace of mind,” Salvesen explained. 

Family volunteers are particularly beneficial because they are familiar with the challenges that residents might face. By giving just a few hours of time, family members can help their loved one and other residents.

Becoming a part of your loved one’s senior living community will help your loved one adjust quicker to their environment and feel more connected. Adding a regular volunteer shift to your schedule will let your loved one know that you are committed to their community and enjoy spending time with their friends. 

Benefits for Families 

Volunteering at your loved one’s senior living community will help the entire family feel more connected to your older relative and their home. In addition, volunteers gain valuable experience with caregiving and learn a lot about life and our country’s shared history. Finally, family members who volunteer will gain greater peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is in a positive environment. 

Young adults and even children should also be involved in volunteering at a loved one’s community. Volunteering will help young people stay connected with their older relatives and form relationships with other older adults. Younger volunteers will learn the importance of giving back and gain an understanding of different generations. 

Whether your loved one is preparing to move, or has been a senior living resident for decades, it is never too early or too late to get involved. Contact your loved one’s community today to ask about volunteer opportunities.

Sample Volunteer Opportunities

  • Friendly Visiting
  • Helping with meal time
  • Assistance with holiday events and activities
  • Escorting residents for outdoor walks
  • Leading a discussion group
  • Recording life stories/interviewing residents
  • Sharing a musical or other talent
  • Helping residents write notes or cards
  • Providing support with technology 
  • Participating in fundraising activities
  • Bringing seasonal treats or surprises to residents
  • Connecting residents with young adults or children 

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