Volunteer Nevada County

A Call to Service

Here are ten great reasons why a senior should become a volunteer. These are taken from Senior Corps, part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that connects American citizens of all demographic categories to volunteer opportunities to improve their communities.

  1. America needs seniors now more than ever. Communities need active seniors. While all volunteers make a difference, experienced, knowledgeable seniors make an even bigger difference by directly helping to build capacity within community organizations.
  2. The Senior Corps program RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) is the nation’s largest senior volunteer network. More than 72,000 different organizations use RSVP to find volunteers, so all seniors can easily find an opportunity that works for them.
  3. Senior volunteers help bridge the generation gap. The cultural difference between seniors and young people is huge! Differences like technology, workplace behavior and even political differences create a great divide. But when seniors and young people get the chance to work together and collaborate, there is reciprocal learning for all involved and results in a better understanding of each other.
  4. Volunteering helps seniors maintain mental well-being. A recent study found that seniors who volunteer in social programs not only maintain good brain function, but their brain function and cognitive ability may actually increase. Volunteering can actually make a senior smarter.
  5. Becoming a volunteer helps seniors maintain physical health. Volunteering is the only productive activity proven to help prevent frailty among seniors. A UCLA study specifically suggests that of all productive activities, volunteering may actually be the best at slowing down the aging process for seniors.
  6. Volunteering helps seniors stay involved in their communities. For many seniors, between half and three-quarters of their time awake is spent watching television at home. Social isolation is a major factor in senior depression, a condition that an estimated 6 to 6.5 million adults 65 and over suffer from. Seniors who volunteer spend less time at home and more time in their community which helps to increase their social and support networks.
  7. Volunteering is rewarding. Giving to others can help make us feel vibrant and satisfied. Being a volunteer reduces stress and increases happiness. The Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) indicates that there are many health benefits associated with volunteering that result from a sense of accomplishment volunteers feel when they are helping other.
  8. Volunteering adds years to a senior’s life. The CNCS reports lower mortality rates for seniors who provide social support for others by volunteering and found that in states where senior volunteering is high, mortality rates are lower.
  9. Senior volunteers can work around their own schedule. When it comes to valued senior volunteers, most organizations offer flexible schedules so even busy, active seniors can become volunteers.
  10. The individual talent and creativity of our seniors can make an important difference in the success of our communities.