Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to help others. Everyone has skills and resources to offer, so whether you can provide professional services, entertainment, physical labor, or simply friendship, you should explore the idea of volunteering at a retirement home. Not only will you help the elderly in a variety of ways, but you’ll also help yourself. Don’t believe me? Scroll down to learn about the many benefits of volunteering with seniors. You’ll also learn how to volunteer at a retirement home in your community.
Why Volunteer at a Retirement Home
First, you will help your community and bring joy to others. The staff at the retirement community will greatly appreciate your efforts, and you’ll certainly bring smiles to the faces of seniors you help. Plus, if you go into it with a positive attitude, it can be a lot of fun!
Next, you will meet new people and make new friends amongst both the seniors and the staff. In socializing with the elderly, you can also learn about the past and gain wisdom. You could even learn a new skill from a senior, like knitting, reading music, or how to play bridge.
Finally, you can gain valuable professional experience by organizing events, teaching classes, or performing in front of large groups. If you wish to pursue a career in which you’ll be interacting with seniors frequently, volunteering at a retirement home would be an especially advantageous experience. You can also gain volunteer hours for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, NHS, college, etc.
How to Volunteer at a Retirement Home
First, brainstorm ways that you could help. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Could you organize community events like bingo, game nights, karaoke, and talent shows?
- Could you steer a wheelchair, transporting seniors from place to place?
- Could you teach seniors how to use the Internet and send e-mails?
- Could you conduct an arts and crafts class?
- Could you provide entertainment in the form of music, dancing, drama, etc.?
- Could you simply socialize and chat?
- Could you play card games like bridge and canasta?
- Could you give manicures?
- Could you read aloud to seniors?
- Could you record seniors’ memories and help them create a scrapbook?
- Could you help the staff with cleaning and office chores?
Next, look at your schedule and figure out when you will be able to volunteer. This could be a one-time event (like a jazz performance) or a routine occurrence (weekly computer classes, socializing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, etc).
Once you figure out (1) the ways you can help seniors and (2) the times you’re available, contact your local retirement community and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator. Every retirement community differs in their goals, needs, and procedures, so ask how you can help. The volunteer coordinator may have a specific request based on the facility’s current needs, but you should also feel free to suggest the ideas that you brainstormed.
Finally, if you’re hoping to volunteer at a senior living facility in the Midwest, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee, and we greatly encourage volunteers from the community who want to offer their services. Whether you want to participate in meaningful activities, engage in social relationships, or share your hobbies and skills, your efforts are greatly appreciated. If you’re interested in volunteering at Hearthside Senior Living Place, please contact our Community Director. We look forward to hearing from you!