Your special talents
You don’t need any particular skill to be a volunteer for most organizations, but you may have special abilities that are desperately needed by groups who would have to pay for them otherwise. Do you make particular crafts, write well, or play an instrument? Maybe you’re a retired accountant, teacher, or engineer, or an accomplished seamstress, photographer, or gardener. In most cases, giving the gift of time is the most valuable asset you have to offer – with a specialty to go with it, of course, you’ll have many volunteer opportunities to choose between.
What appeals to you?
Senior volunteer work can also represent a chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Consider your dearest hobby or favorite place to be and see if you can translate it into a volunteer opportunity.
Are you a train fanatic? Perhaps there is a local train museum that could use your help. Your local theatre might need ushering assistance; you might even get to see the show for free! Community gardens offer plenty of opportunities to care for plants and get out in the fine weather, too. Libraries need volunteers for everything from storytelling to grounds care, so check with your local branch.
Many ways to help
There are so many people who are in need of immediate aid just to get through the day. With your extra time you could give vital help by feeding the hungry. You could also connect with other needs in your community through national organizations that can match you with local projects that need your help. The Senior Corps works specifically with retired people to connect them to a wealth of nearby volunteer opportunities.
Polling places always need volunteers. Assisting with the voting process is a great way to get out there and do good work while supporting democracy. Contact your county for election information to find ways that you can help.
What about combining volunteer work with a love of travel? The Peace Corps offers volunteer opportunities in other countries for all ages. Interested in archeology, environmentalism or oceanography? Transitions Abroad combines incredible adventure and worthwhile volunteer opportunities for seniors, including outreach to orphanages, social science research, and an array of field work in many disciplines.
Connecting through those you know
You may already be a part of a group that regularly does volunteer work or can connect you with those who do. If you are a member of a senior group or a church, ask someone there about volunteer programs.
Staying involved keeps you young
In addition to all the ways that seniors can help others through volunteer work, it is also especially good for older people to assist others. Working with new people combats depression, keeps your mind sharp, and provides something to look forward to. What’s more, working with other ages teaches young and old alike about each other, bridging the generation gap and passing on experience to younger people.
Volunteer work can be a perfect match for seniors who have extra time and may be far from family and without a community of friends. You too can reap the benefits of volunteering by reaching out to an organization that could use your help or connect you to others who do.
Everyone feels lonely sometimes, but these feelings might happen more frequently if you live alone. The good news is that coping with loneliness is possible and, with practice, you can learn to love your alone time. If this is a tricky area for you, here are some thoughts that, though not necessarily easy, still might help. Savor your solitude ...
Living alone in an apartment can be a wonderful experience. No apartment roommate means nobody else’s habits, moods or friends to deal with. But all things require balance, and living alone can have its challenges. Here are some tips for happily living alone in your apartment. Don’t be a stranger As nice as it is ...
Dealing with death requires moving through many layers of emotion, and everyone makes this journey in a different way. Sometimes going through the possessions of a deceased loved one can feel like experiencing the loss all over again. If you are faced with the job of packing up a loved one’s belongings, here are some ...
Buying a friend that perfect housewarming gift for their new apartment can be tricky, as chances are they don’t have a lot of space to spare. And you run the risk of buying something for their home that doesn’t go with their style. Here’s how to buy a great housewarming gift. Let them pick out ...
Using your apartment fireplace during the cold months can save you money on utility bills — but only if your fireplace is a cheap and efficient source of heat. Learn the ins and outs of apartment fireplaces to get the most out of your model. Before you make any major changes to your apartment, however, ...
What do you think is the ideal number of apartment roommates?
Total Voters: 70