Something that most community programs and nonprofits have in common is the help of one or more indispensible senior volunteers who give their time to get things done. Seniors serve at veterans homes, schools and churches and do everything from food prep to mentoring, and it is most often a labor of love that gives back to the volunteer, too. Helping others provides physical activities and emotionally uplifting connections, and it fills needs for organizations.
A passion for a cause or for the arts can lead to volunteering at a society or cultural organization as a museum guide or help desk volunteer, for example, and these passionate senior spokesmen and women may draw in new members. They also help free-up available funds by lessening the need for salaried staff.
Serving family and friends might not be considered a hobby, but providing childcare, meals or rides, and tutoring grandchildren or neighbor kids, is leisure time well-spent and well-appreciated. From providing for needy animals to planning social activities for homebound seniors -- or even those able but not motivated to get out -- making a hobby of serving is a sure way to never run out of things to do. It also enriches the lives of those who already have too much to do but just can't resist helping.
More Great Links
- Associated Press. "Chair Yoga Catching on Among Senior Citizens." USA Today.com. Feb. 3, 2005. (May 9, 2011) http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-02-03-chair-yoga_x.htm
- Austin, Denise. "Every Body Benefits from Pilates." Prevention Magazine online. Aug. 22, 2005. (May 9, 2011) http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/belly-abs/denise-austin-s-pilates-workout-tips/article/8e3fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise." April 12, 2010. (May 7, 2011) http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/health_benefits_water_exercise.html
- Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Boccie Ball." Britannica.com. 2011. (May 10, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/70884/boccie
- Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Old Age." 2011. Britannica.com. (May 8, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/426737/old-age
- Francina, Suza. "Yoga Solutions for Healthy Aging." Eldr.com. March 31, 2007. (May 9, 2011) http://www.eldr.com/article/fitness/yoga-solutions-healthy-aging
- Frommer's. "Senior Travel Forum." Frommers.com. 2011. (May 10, 2011) http://www.frommers.com/community/forum.cfm/trip-ideas/senior-travel
- Heilman, Joan Rattner. "Life Looks Rosy for Gardeners." AARP Bulletin. April 12, 2011. (May 6, 2011) http://www.aarp.org/health/medical-research/info-04-2011/life-looks-rosy-for-gardeners.html
- Judd, Terry. "Relishing Pickleball: Senior Citizens Have Met Their Match." Muskegon Chronicle, MLive.com. Sept. 26, 2010. (May 5, 2011)http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/muskegon/index.ssf/2010/09/relishing_pickleball_senior_ci.html
- Laughter Yoga International. "What Is Laughter Yoga?" 2011. (May 9, 2011) http://www.laughteryoga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=85&Itemid=265
- Lifelong Fitness Alliance (LFA). "Overview: Stepping Strong." 2011. (May 10, 2011) http://www.50plus.org/stepping-strong/overview/
- Nardozzi, Charlie. "Gardening Improves Health of Older Adults." National Gardening Association. 2011. (May 8, 2011) http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=3045
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "The First and Second Laws of Motion." Fairman, Jonathan, ed. August 1996. (May 10, 2011) http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/WindTunnel/Activities/first2nd_lawsf_motion.html
- Powers, Richard. "Use It Or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter." Stanford.edu. 2011. (May 8, 2011) http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm
- USA.gov. "Overview of the Senior Pass." 2011. (May 9, 2011) http://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html
- USA.gov. "Travel and Recreation Tips for Seniors." 2011. (May 9, 2011) http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors/Travel.shtml
- Vorenberg, Bonnie L. "Senior Citizens Forming Theatre Groups Across Nation." SeniorJournal.com. Aug. 4, 2004. (May 7, 2011) http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Entertainment/4-08-01Theatre.htm
HowStuffWorks looks at a study showing just one hour of vigorous activity a week can keep seniors mobile and active.