- Written by Pat Sicard, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley Volunteer Manager
- Published: 27 September 2019
According to AARP at Create the Good, “Volunteering makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. But did you know how much you help yourself by giving back?”
Benefits of volunteering to older adults can include lowering stress, finding new friends and social opportunities, and gaining confidence and a continued sense of purpose. Aren’t you more interesting company when you have something to talk about?
That feeling of happiness and well-being comes from a release of dopamine in the brain, and helping others has that exact same effect.
Brain Benefits for Seniors Who Volunteer, a 2009 study by Johns Hopkins University revealed that “volunteering increases brain functioning because activity gets you moving and thinking at the same time.” Volunteers also experience “The Happiness Effect” which is similar to the aftermath of a vigorous workout. That feeling of happiness and well-being comes from a release of dopamine in the brain, and helping others has that exact same effect. So, the more you volunteer, the happier you become!
As the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” goes, use those extra hours in your weekly schedule for good to help your brain and your neighbors. Share your skills and experience to benefit elders who are trying to remain independent in their own homes by volunteering for programs such as LifePath’s Money Management program.
RSVP of the Pioneer Valley is the volunteer connector for adults 55 and older who have some time and wish to help with meals programs, rides to medical appointments, or help with bill paying. RSVP offers options: You choose and we facilitate the match.