- The elderly have knowledge, experience, and wisdom which come with age. Spokane’s elderly have millions of years of life’s experiences. You are never too old to reach out to those in need.
- The elderly who volunteer appear to slow the aging process and prevent health issues such as high blood pressure and heart rate, heart attack, stroke, and sleep disorders. Those who volunteer are healthier, more mentally acute, and have larger social groups. Volunteering gives a sense of connection and purpose that many other people do not have.
- Community service promotes opportunities to socialize and make friends. People who are lonely do not cope as well with stress, thus raising stress hormones which may lead to hypertension.
- “Men who volunteer after age 65 live longer…One of the greatest benefits is connection with others.” Douglas M. Lawson, Ph.D, author of Volunteering: 101 Ways You Can Improve the World and Your Life.
- “The old have very limited interactions with youth; the young do not understand their elders or the aging process. The common bond of volunteering in one’s own community is used to bring people of various generations together in order to start building relationships with each other.” – David Tetzlaff and Gina Zanin, members of the steering committee for Join Hands Day
What Seniors Can Do to Serve Others
- Feel useful and prevent loneliness
by keeping busy and serving your family—quilt blankets for new
grandchildren, write letters on birthdays, attend family events, compile
personal and family histories.
- Help organize family reunions to build family togetherness, traditions and family heritage.
- Enjoy the adventure of service and charitable work for others. Find
a passion, and use your time, experience, skills, talents, and wisdom
to bless the lives of others and make a difference in Spokane.
- Give community service by
serving as school tutors (especially to disadvantaged children), hospital volunteers, foster grandparents,
hospice volunteers, missionaries, social service volunteers,
entertainers in nursing homes, and senior companions providing personal
assistance to the frail elderly who want to stay in their homes.
- Knit and crochet hats and scarves to donate to schools or other agencies which will distribute them in the winter to those in need.
- Discuss your careers, hobbies and history with youth groups, school classes and grandchildren. You have a lifetime of experience to share. Provide pro-Bono management help to nonprofits in our area.
- Offer to phone and check on other elderly, or call latch-key children/grandchildren before and after school.
- Stay physically fit, healthy and active, so your body and mind will function better. Preserve your health so you can serve and enjoy others long after retirement.
- Recognize when your driving skills are impaired
to the point that you need to give up your car keys to avoid an
accident. For those 70 years of age and older, the most common cause of
getting into a traffic accident is poor vision, followed by slower
reflexes. When your age, mind, hearing and vision make it difficult to
drive safely, seek alternative options to protect your own life and the
lives of others.
- Start a “Grandmothers Gang.” Gather women with wisdom and experience, and make a difference in our community.