5 Rewarding Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

volunteerMany people look forward to the time when they can retire and have more opportunities to do what they’ve been putting off during their years of work. Some may like to travel, or to spend more time with their families, or simply relax and catch up on all of the books they’ve never had time to read.

However, many seniors and retirees have realized, while these pursuits are definitely worthwhile, they feel there is so much more they could be doing. Years of work in important fields have yielded a generation of seniors with an extremely useful skill set, and some seniors feel those skills are going to waste.

For many seniors who have made the choice to restart their lives in senior living residences, they have more free time and a desire to use it constructively. Volunteering is an exceptional way for retirees and the elderly to share their skill set, interact with their community and each other, and take away the wonderful feeling of fulfillment that comes with volunteering.

Volunteering with Children
Most seniors have grandchildren that they love dearly, but those grandchildren may live far away. It can be an extremely rewarding experience to donate oneís time to a childrenís organization. These opportunities can come in many different forms.

Many cities and communities seek out volunteer tutors for children who are struggling with their schoolwork, and seniors excel at this task. Seniors have a wealth of knowledge, and as many have spent their lives working as educators, this situation can be perfect. Many community organizations run foster grandparent programs as well. These organizations place senior volunteers with local children in the foster care system to help build relationships.

Senior Corps and Big Brothers Big Sisters are both excellent places to inquire about volunteering with children.

Volunteering with Animals
Animal charities are always in need of a helping hand, and seniors can really be an asset. A quick phone call to a local animal rescue group can open up a great deal of opportunity for those who enjoy working with animals.

Shelters might need people who can help to walk and groom the dogs or play with the cats, and they can always use office help too. Adoption days are particularly hectic for these organizations, and seniors can help with the organization of the events and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

A unique volunteer option is working with therapy animals. Specialized groups bring their certified therapy pets to visit patients in a hospital or nursing home environment. Seniors are particularly well-suited to this activity, and can help to coordinate visit times and accompany the therapy pets on their mission.

Volunteering at Hospitals
Seniors have long excelled in hospital volunteer positions. Hospitals or medical centers have retirees in all sorts of volunteer capacities. In fact, this is one of the most popular volunteer environments for seniors.

Hospitals are constantly seeking qualified people to fill the many volunteer positions that they have available. Medical facilities need assistance in areas such as the gift shop or cafeteria, volunteers to help register incoming patients, or simply visiting ill patients and provide much needed companionship. All of these volunteer positions are vital in their own way, and seniors can help to make up the very backbone of a hospital volunteer group.

Volunteering for Community Organizations
Seniors tend to be very community minded people, so a volunteer position at any community oriented organization or charity can be mutually beneficial. In fact, seniors typically have their choice of a volunteer position at any number of charitable organizations.

Habitat for Humanity is a worthwhile charity that always needs volunteers. Even those who might not be able to swing a hammer can donate their time in the office, organizing other volunteers, or by preparing lunches for the workers. Food banks and soup kitchens need helpers to prepare meals and food packages for their clients. Seniors can also lend a hand at outreach programs that assist housebound elderly people in local neighborhoods.

Volunteering at Church
Most church members volunteer regularly, but for seniors or the newly retired, a chance to increase time spent in a volunteer capacity can be something to look forward to. Churches assist their communities in a variety of ways so seniors are bound to find a way to pitch in.

Churches participate in the community in vital ways that include disaster relief, food pantries, and fundraisers. Seniors who volunteer in a church setting can feel confident that by volunteering they are serving their church and their community equally.

For many people, retirement doesnít have to mean slowing down, it simply means that a new chapter of life is beginning. Seniors can find many ways to lead happy and fulfilling lives, and volunteering is a great way to start that journey.