Reasons to Get Involved in Community Support for Seniors
“Your family can participate in senior activities and other programs to give your loved ones something extraordinary to look forward to.”
We all know volunteering to help our seniors makes them feel good - but did you know volunteers themselves can also benefit from such selfless acts? Giving something meaningful back to our senior citizens makes for a worthwhile cause. Volunteering in aged care allows you to reach out to the community in the most poignant way. Your time and resources are unparalleled to those in need ‒ and the benefits of volunteering can be even greater for yourself.
There’s no doubt volunteering in aged care can enrich both yours and your elderly loved one’s sense of purpose in life ‒ but did you know a Journal of Health and Social Behaviour found those who devote their time to helping others lived longer, more fulfilled lives than their non-volunteering counterparts? Volunteering is key to life satisfaction, good health and emotional wellbeing. In fact, there’s a growing body of evidence to support the benefits of offering vital social and economic resources within the aged-care community.
There are a number of ways to include yourself in an aged community. You and/or your family can participate in senior activities and other programs to give your loved one something extraordinary to look forward to. We all lead busy lifestyles ‒ but it’s important to remember your elderly loved one has given you so much over the years ‒ here are the many reasons for and ways in which you can give back to reap the emotional and physical benefits for everybody involved:
Improve Your Mood
“Encouraging yourself to participate in your senior loved one’s activities will promote good health and overall wellbeing, whilst conquering any feelings of loneliness and social isolation.”
Stress is arguably the greatest obstacle in which we face in adulthood, but volunteering can help relieve feelings of anxiety by improving our overall mood. The socialisation aspect of volunteering delivers great pleasure and sense of purpose in one's life. Our busy lives often get in the way of good quality socialisation. Encouraging yourself to participate in your senior loved one’s activities will promote good health and overall wellbeing, whilst conquering any feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
We also know it’s not uncommon for our senior family members to feel isolated and cut off from the social networks they once had within the workplace ‒ but the power of humanity has the potential to increase happiness and therefore break the cycle of loneliness.
Whether you’re providing home-based care or are visiting your loved ones from a community like Palm Lake Care (PLC), you can offer fun, active ways to for you and your family to socialise like how PLC do with classes for line dancing. If your loved one is limited physically, try some collaborative arts and crafts like scrapbooking.
Build on Your Social, Mental and Emotional Intelligence
“Remember to think about how you can apply your interests and skills, and as you work towards enhancing your current skills, you’ll also be developing new ones.”
Volunteering in aged care is an exchange that can reward you in so many ways. The skills you take away from supporting your community are second to none; more often than not, paving the way for your future endeavours. Devoting time out of your busy schedule to develop invaluable skills which build on your social, mental and emotional intelligence is all the more reason to support your senior loved one.
Try reading to your loved one, or work on a creative task with them. Remember to think about how you can apply your interests and skills, and as you work towards enhancing your current skills, you’ll also be developing new ones.
What better way to further your career pathway than by doing something so positive for someone so important to you? Palm Lake Care welcomes volunteers as it facilitates the vital social interactions that occur within our close-knit community. Lower Depression and Improve Stress Resistance
“It’s so important to develop a sense of obligation within the family to help others.”
One of the most divine human relationships in our society is that of grandparents and their grandchildren. Selflessness is the glue which holds the family together so tightly. And families who participate in volunteering and other companionship activities report increased self-confidence, reaping the benefits of lower depression rates and greater stress resistance.
Not only will your senior loved feel connected to the outside world ‒ but you and your family will feel good about enriching your senior loved one and their community. It’s so important to develop a sense of obligation within the family to help others. You’ll find comfort in making a big difference in their lives by simply committing to that crocheting workshop once a fortnight.
Consider your elderly loved one’s personality traits, skills and interests before signing your family up for a visitor program. ‘Crafternoons’ and sing-a-longs are great for family involvement. Bring the grandchildren along and share heartwarming life experiences and exchange photographs in a scrapbooking session. Sitting in on reading and poetry is ideal for bonding with the seasoned literary minds of the family.
And if your loved one is a war veteran, volunteer your companionship by partaking in ANZAC Day ceremonies. Your elderly family member gives so much ‒ so you can rest assured knowing the staff at Palm Lake Care will also be there to provide specialised care for your loved one.
Learn Invaluable Life Lessons
“Volunteering in aged-care can help bridge the generational gap, and cultivate positive changes in social roles.”
The benefits of volunteering and sharing meaningful experiences with your elderly loved ones extend far beyond physical and mental health. By doing so, you’ll be learning some invaluable life lessons passed on from your senior loved one. And your involvement will undoubtedly give you a sense of purpose.
Simply by reaching out, you’ll be joining intergenerational pathways to a society that is better connected. Embracing diversity and extending social circles can help form deep, lifelong connections that can make every difference in the lives of all involved. New technology has impacted the aging population, with many seniors feeling detached from the broader social world. Volunteering your time to help bridge the generational gap will cultivate positive changes in social roles. Social interaction also has the ability to address this loneliness epidemic facing our senior population, allowing intergenerational and peer synergy to transpire on an even level.
Palm Lake Care is different from other aged care in the sense that it has established a community suited for meaningful goals and contributions. We are passionate about bringing joy to lives of all families, offering fun days and group activities to help our senior residents connect with their children and grandchildren in a meaningful way.
Make the Most of the Greater Good
“Your senior loved one’s social needs are unique ‒ and there are so many areas where your support is greatly needed.”
One of the better known impacts of volunteering, is how a simple act of kindness can make all the difference. Your senior loved one’s social needs are unique ‒ and there are so many areas where your support is greatly needed.
it is important to note that seniors who live alone will also require some assistance with their day-to-day activities. An assisted living care provider can help your loved one manage and prepare for their activities. We, at Palm Lake Care, can happily assist the families of our residents in looking for the right volunteering and participation opportunities ‒ the perfect fit for the greater good.
It’s O.K. if Your Motivation is Selfish
Now you know giving up your own time to engage in activities with your elderly family is not only benefitting them, but it’s also benefiting you ‒ it’s perfectly okay to use this as motivation to get involved more often. The outcome will be life changing. For everybody.