Day Eleven: Volunteer at a Senior Program
Twenty Days of Giving in Northern New England
Action Team Members visiting Westrum House in Topsham, Maine
A study published in June 2015 by Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research (funded by the National Institute on Aging), found that seniors who live in community settings enjoyed an average of fifteen more disability-free years than seniors who live alone.
This is not surprising for those of us who work in senior services and know the value of simple human connection.
One of the many wonders of working in senior programs is witnessing the kindnesses that neighbors share with one another. A simple phone call to check in on someone who hasn't been feeling well, a delivery of chicken soup to a neighbor who has lost a loved one, or an offer to pick something up in town for a neighbor who does not drive...all small gestures that go a long way to say, "You matter."
Another wonder is watching what happens during community presentations. Our affordable senior housing programs are always on the lookout for volunteers who might want to offer a cooking class or share travel slides, present a live musical event or teach computer classes. Often the activities will include snacks and coffee, and are well attended by interested and eager residents.
Without exception, presenters that come and share a talent or an interest leave with smiles on their faces and stories to share.
Not only that, but many studies have shown that volunteers live an average of 22% longer and happier lives! Google it, you'll be surprised.
If you or someone you know would like to come to one of our programs and share a slide show, offer a yoga class, bring your singing group, or be available to assist at a community meal, give us a call 207-373-1140. Ken Capron did (http://memoryworks.org), and started a new monthly tradition at several of our senior houses.
LEARN MORE: www.voanne.org/senior services