A study, published in March 2017, has shown than volunteering during later life can reduce the risk of dementia. A 5-year research study conducted by the University of Calgary has suggested that engaging in voluntary work actually helps to improve cognitive health.
However, out of the three groups who participated in the research these results were only shown in the group of individuals who consistently volunteered in their communities, for at least one hour a week. The other two groups who only volunteered from time to time or never volunteered, showed no significant results.
So, what does this mean? It’s time to boost volunteer work among retired individuals! It’s time for you to get involved! So here’s what you can do to volunteer during your golden years and reap the benefits of improved cognitive health.
#1 Share your expertise
Whether you become a member of a board, want to continue being involved in your professional industry, or coach younger generations. Get out there! What do you want to share? How do you want to spend your time? Uncover your passions and funnel them into your community. You’ve lived an incredible life, so engage your mind, share your wisdom and knowledge with like-minded people who are looking to learn something new.
#2 Suit it to your needs
If you have a busy schedule, volunteering once a week might seem like an unrealistic goal but the best part about volunteering is that all you are giving is your time. This means you’ll be able to squeeze in that one hour a week in the best way for you.
For instance, if you are looking to change up your weekly routine how about volunteering first thing in the morning? Or if you have a structured routine for easier accessibility, ensure that your voluntary work suits your schedule. Ask your neighbours or individuals around your community to see if there are suitable transport options to help you get to your destination.
Volunteering is a great way to refresh motivations and meet new people. Or just spend time outside, volunteering at the community allotment, for example. Volunteering will also provide you with regularity in your week, plus it will allow you to provide a meaningful contribution to society.
#3 Pick your charity
Throughout your life has there ever been a charity or non-profit organisation that you have been interested in, or admired their work but never had the time to commit? Whether in the UK or abroad, there is a huge variety of volunteer programmes available. Check out Do-it for inspiration, or GVI if you are interested in volunteering abroad, and see how you can get involved today!