Thousands of seniors in the United States volunteer in their local communities. Volunteering can allow you to connect to others and do something you genuinely care about during retirement. Do you know how to get involved in your community?
How to Get Involved in Your Community
Did you know that one in five seniors volunteer with various causes in their communities? There are plenty of good reasons that so many seniors make community involvement a priority:
- Seniors are valuable volunteers who bring perspective and experience to their community efforts. Community work can be a great way to share your wisdom, use your learned skills, and make your neighborhood a better place.
- Volunteering can provide opportunities to make social connections. For seniors hoping to make new friends, volunteering is a fantastic idea.
- Aside from the satisfaction you’ll get from helping others, volunteering is good for your body and mind. Research demonstrates that seniors who volunteer regularly have reduced health risks, better self-esteem, and feel more optimistic about life.
If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t worry! Making a plan for how to get involved in your community is easier than you think, and the payoff is worth it.
Do Some Research
Before you jump right into community involvement, it’s essential to think about what you want to get out of the experience. Finding a cause you can support with work you enjoy doing is the key to becoming an involved community member. Before you commit to a cause, consider these questions:
- What kind of work am I comfortable doing, and what skills can I contribute?
- What kind of engagement am I looking for? Do I want a regular, structured opportunity? One-time events? Virtual volunteering or in-person work?
- What community needs matter the most to me, and why?
- Who is doing good work in my community right now? Who comes to mind when I think about groups and people making a difference?
If you have senior acquaintances active in the community, take them out for coffee and pick their brains about the experience. You can also do some valuable research on the internet with resources dedicated to helping seniors volunteer, like AARP’s volunteering clearinghouse. Be sure to check out an organization’s website if you find one you’re especially interested in. Many community organizations maintain a public list of volunteer needs and opportunities, and they’ll be excited to hear from you.
Get to Work!
Once you know how you’d like to get involved in your community, it’s time to make it happen. Get organized by making a list of the opportunities you’re interested in, then contact the people you’d like to work with. Here are some tips to help you get started with an organization:
- Be specific about the skills and abilities you’d like to use and any limitations to your abilities that the organization should know.
- Ask a lot of questions, and follow your gut.
- Keep in mind that community engagement is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting involved in small ways can still make a significant impact!
Learning how to get involved in your community requires some research, but your efforts will pay off with new friends and a better neighborhood for everyone. How can you make your community a happier place today?
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you to explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!