Retirement is a stage ripe with new opportunities thanks to increased free time and fewer daily obligations. While many older adults appreciate the chance to explore new hobbies and spend more time with their families, leaving the workforce presents unique challenges. For those who miss the consistency and meaning once found at work, volunteering can be a great option.
Older adults have years of experience that they can use to help others, and many improve their own health in the process. According to a survey conducted by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch, more than 68% of senior volunteers report feeling healthier as a result of their work.
Here are three great ways for seniors to get involved in volunteering:
For retirees who want to give back, AARP’s Volunteer Wizard is one of the best places to start. After potential volunteers take a survey of interests and skills, Volunteer Wizard matches them with appropriate opportunities.
Seniors who want to go above and beyond as volunteers should look into Senior Corps. Managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization employs local project directors to place older individuals at the organizations where they are needed most. Senior Corps volunteers also receive regular guidance and training from the organization that helps them make the most of their volunteer experience.
HandsOn Suburban Chicago RSVP
Older Chicagoans may want to explore HandsOn Suburban Chicago RSVP, a group that lists an average of 400 new volunteer opportunities each week. They connect retired adults with individuals, nonprofits and schools with specific needs that volunteers can fulfill.
Need more reasons to volunteer? 29% of senior volunteers with chronic conditions feel that volunteer work helps keep their symptoms at bay. Even better, 92% of older volunteers feel an enriched sense of purpose as a result of their contribution. The benefits of service are undeniable.
Do you plan to volunteer in retirement?
As President and CEO of CMSS, Bill Lowe is responsible for the organization’s operations and direction, and reports to the board of directors for oversight. Bill is concurrently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Symbria. He has worked with CMSS for over 20 years, taking his first position as the CFO in 1989. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University, and is also a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and a certified Retirement Housing Professional Fellow.