Older American Month: Volunteering Health Benefits

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We are approaching the end of Older American Month and heading into Summer. With the warmer days, what better time to discuss the health benefits of volunteering. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), a 501c3 non-profit shares some of the benefits of volunteering in their brochure, “Doing Good is Good for You: Volunteer”:

“As 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day…But whether they are working or not, many are embracing opportunities to contribute in new ways by volunteering, sharing a lifetime of knowledge and experience to improve the lives of people in their communities. But volunteering not only benefits society—research shows it can also pay big dividends in better health as you age. If you volunteer for as little as two hours a week, or about 96 hours per year, you may experience improved mental, emotional and physical health—benefits that many older volunteers are reaping because, on average, they contribute almost twice as many hours as any other age group. Volunteering can help to reduce depression, lessen chronic pain and give your brain a boost. You may even live longer!”[1]

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The health benefits of Older Americans volunteering include:

· Living longer. Research is showing Seniors who regularly volunteer live longer

· Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time[2]