Volunteering reduces loneliness regardless of age. However, older adults tend to feel lonelier than other generations, so interacting with other people is quite important for them. This is especially true if they are recently widowed. Volunteering in the elderly is becoming more and more popular all over the US since it is a great way to not just be with other people, but to feel more useful.
How Does Volunteering in the Elderly Reduce Loneliness?
In April 2018, a study done at Georgia State University was published in The Journals of Gerontology. The study was primarily focused on widows and how lonely they are. In addition, they also investigated the impact of volunteering for this group of people, and they came up with astonishing results. Volunteering can actually have a huge impact on your condition.
Widowed people who volunteer 100 hours a year or more feel far less lonely than widows who don’t volunteer. This means that only 2 hours each week can have a significant impact on your emotional health. The point of volunteering is helping others, but you can also help yourself. Of course, you can volunteer more than 2 hours a week if you feel like it.
The point is: if you feel lonely, mingle with people. Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to interact with people from different backgrounds. Also, helping others will give you a sense of purpose, something that the elderly tend to lose once they retire. Luckily, it is very easy nowadays to find an organization to volunteer for. See online what NGOs are near your neighborhood. Check out the Red Cross and its activities. Consider volunteering abroad. There are plenty of options and different opportunities. It is only up to you whether you will embrace them or not.
Read here about what else you can do in your retirement to make the most out of it.
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