Seniors Helping Seniors, VolunteerGeneral Health
Volunteering And Anti-Aging
I have never been much for volunteering my time. I recognize the error of my ways. As seniors, we need to remain socially active. Volunteering helps with our anti-aging. It seems like one has nothing to do with the other but experts will disagree with you. They may not have all the answers but this is one premise that has been proven to be true. Volunteer to stave off aging, mentally and physically.
The problem comes as we have been so busy taking care of others it feels empty not to continue in this vein. The millennials only want to travel the world and have “experiences.” We have seen what is out there and with the wisdom of age, know it is not for us.
Perhaps when we were younger we dreamed of such adventures. However, there was a crying child and a basket of laundry that had to be tended to. Now we prefer to be dry and fed, just like that newborn. Those unknown undertakings have lost a bit of their charm.
An alternative is to volunteer. All “experts” agree that volunteering your time and helping those less fortunate than you is a very satisfying experience, especially for seniors. It helps in the anti-aging process, both mentally and physically. By stretching yourself and interacting with others, you continue to be mentally stimulated.
Volunteering is good for your heart.
Studies have proven that by volunteering their time, many seniors have effectively reduced their blood pressure. They have also reduced their chances for heart disease since high blood pressure leads to cardiovascular disease. In the past, it was assumed that high blood pressure was a result of aging and could not be resolved.
The mantra of the so-called experts was that in order to lower your blood pressure, other than by medication, you needed to cut out negative lifestyle factors. Thus you needed to eat right as well as exercise often to fight any genetic factors that you may have.
Those are factors that do affect your blood pressure. However, it is an enigma that that volunteering can yield some of the same results. However, it is a proven fact, even though no cause and effect has yet been discovered.
The problem appears because after a senior has reached retirement age, he or she may have few if any, choices for social interaction. After being busy providing for their families, suddenly they may find themselves in a position of isolation.
The children provided for may have moved away and are busy providing for their own families. Friends get busy and have their own lives. If they are not in a similar position, they will not understand as they still have their own obligations.
Being busy and spending time away from his or her home, leads seniors away from thoughts of depression. A new environment is healthy and invigorating. It also challenges the senior as he or she must deal with new people and places.
Doing the same thing every day in the same location does not stimulate seniors. He or she may not be physically able to go to new places and this activity can encourage the senior, both mentally and physically. Volunteering will improve mental health. Those who volunteer interact more socially than those who do not.
But How Does It Help?
There are many factors. Perhaps those who volunteer are just naturally more healthy. Perhaps those who volunteer lead a more satisfying life. It has been proven that social interaction is the number one cause for delaying the symptoms of dementia. All activities that a person does encourages their feelings of well-being.
Individuals who tend to volunteer at more than one organization, are less likely to die from heart disease. The problem with the definite studies is that they are not definitive. It is a proven scientific fact that those who volunteer lead healthier and happier lives but no one knows or can prove why. And no one knows why many who volunteer at more than one organization are healthier than those who only volunteer with one organization.
Most volunteers feel that they are giving something back to their community. They may be supporting a charity or church that supported them or their loved ones when help was required. Another reason seniors volunteer is to widen their social circles. If you are more alone than you wish, volunteering may be the solution.
The “experts” have been unable to link the reason volunteering helps the mental and physical health of an individual. However, the studies prove that this is the case. Choose any reason you want to, just go ahead and volunteer, You have never had this much time to give back and the results are worth it.
Read more about anti-aging and seniors at Guide For Seniors.