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Anthology Residents Give Back During National Volunteer Month


April marks National Volunteer Month, an initiative designated by President Richard Nixon as National Volunteer Week in 1974, which has now become a monthlong recognition for volunteers. The month signifies a reminder that all acts of kindness and volunteerism can promote positive change in the world.


As baby boomers reach retirement age, there has been an influx of people who are volunteering in retirement. More than 60% of adults aged 55 and older spend some time volunteering. Types of volunteer work include volunteering formally (volunteering for an organization) or informally (time spent helping others not in the household).


Who Can Be a Senior Volunteer?


There are several organizations that facilitate and pave the way for seniors to volunteer in their communities. One of these organizations is AmeriCorps Seniors, which has accumulated more than 47 million volunteer hours and utilizes 140,000 volunteers per year.


Participants in the AmeriCorps program can choose from a variety of volunteer opportunities for seniors, including the Senior Companion Program, the Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP, which taps into volunteers’ own skill sets for other community members. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers report less depression, decreased anxiety and less loneliness. More than 80% of volunteers report improving health after one year of volunteer service. AmeriCorps also offers volunteer opportunities for veterans: More than 13,000 active-duty service members and veterans volunteer each year.


Several studies have shown that engaged seniors enjoy better health than those who do not remain active. The studies also find that volunteering in retirement helps seniors live longer and experience better health than those who do not. It is noted that “productive activities like volunteering and work” lower the risk of mortality just as much as fitness activities.


In Anthology communities, our residents enjoy a variety of volunteer work for seniors that highlights their experiences and expertise. Community service projects for senior citizens can encompass a bevy of opportunities to showcase skills. Some residents may enjoy gardening to grow and feed their community, while others enjoy crafts such as knitting or painting to express artistic creativity to benefit local organizations or people.


For example, some residents knit or crochet baby blankets for newborns in the hospital to bring comfort to families going through difficult times. Other communities participate in intergenerational meaningful activities for seniors such as Foster a Grandparent, trick-or-treating with local kids or school supply drives to benefit local schools.


What Are the Best Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors?


Residents who live in senior living communities have plenty of opportunities to volunteer, and if there isn’t anything you are interested in, that’s the great thing about volunteering – you can utilize your own skills and experiences to give back to your fellow community members in whatever way you can. Here are ways to get started volunteering in your community:


  • Discover your interests: Explore the array of volunteer opportunities available, and align them with your passions. Whether your heart lies with wildlife, history, recreation, education or cultural preservation, has options suited to you!
  • Assess your skills and availability: Determine the amount of time you can dedicate, and identify the skills and talents you possess. Matching your strengths and availability with the needs of a site will foster a mutually beneficial partnership.
  • Locate nearby volunteer work for adults: Find the closest field office or visitor center, and inquire about their volunteer programs, expressing your specific interests. Alternatively, explore opportunities at a dream destination for your next vacation.
  • Enroll and commit to volunteer work for seniors: Apply for one or multiple opportunities that resonate with your interests! Upon selection, pledge to show up reliably and enthusiastically.


In conclusion, the impact of volunteering in retirement cannot be overstated. Through their dedication, experience and unwavering commitment, seniors bring a wealth of knowledge and compassion to various initiatives, making tangible differences in the lives of those around them.


Whether it’s mentoring youth, providing support for the vulnerable or beautifying public spaces, seniors prove that age is no barrier for meaningful activities for seniors. Their involvement not only enriches the fabric of society but also fosters intergenerational connections and promotes a culture of service and empathy.


As we celebrate their contributions during National Volunteer Month, let us continue to recognize and support the vital role that a senior volunteer will play in building stronger, more cohesive communities for generations to come.


Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities within our communities? Find your nearest Anthology community here or click to contact us today