Most seniors know that one of the biggest challenges of retirement is not just staying active, but getting satisfaction from their activities.
Whether it’s improving a golf swing or learning about interesting places through travel, keeping the body, mind and spirit going is stimulating, fun and healthy.
Many seniors have discovered the joy of contributing their time, as well as their experience, to others through volunteering. Churches, schools and non-profit organizations – even police departments – are reaping the benefits of retired volunteers. But volunteers reap benefits as well.
Lola volunteers at a hospital in Phoenix, and has for more than 15 years: “I began on the patient floors, holding babies. Now I help in the volunteer office, where we have many volunteers coming and going each day,” she said. Lola loves interacting with the other volunteers, ages 16 through 85.
Helen helps second-graders with their reading skills. She has a different perspective: “I am good with the children, and I get lots of hugs and ‘I love you’s.’” she said. “It’s a joy to see the improvement in their reading skills. I also believe the best way to forget about your aches and pain is to get off the couch and help someone else. It’s the best medicine in the world!”
There are volunteer opportunities everywhere. One of several resources in Maricopa County is an organization called Experience Matters, http://www.experiencemattersaz.org, which connects adults age 50 and up to social purpose opportunities, matching their skills and passions with community needs. Animal rescue, child literacy, the Arizona Science Center and helping victims of domestic violence are just a few of the places where seniors can help.
Don’t let your skills and experience retire when you leave your corporate job. Share them with others in need – you will help them and find great joy in the process.
Jay Gjurgevich is general manager of the Valley branch of Christian Companion Senior Care, www.christianseniorcare.com, which provides in-home care from faithful and trustworthy caregivers who are screened, bonded, insured and trained to provide companion, personal and spiritual care. Christian Companion Senior Care helps seniors who desire to remain independent but who need a little help to do so. For more information or to schedule a no-obligation assessment, call (480) 285-1774.