Hospice Quinte: Changing Lives Podcast

Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors

June 06, 2022 Hospice Quinte Season 5 Episode 16
Hospice Quinte: Changing Lives Podcast
Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors
Show Notes Transcript

Many non-profit organizations could not survive without the assistance provided by loyal volunteers. In fact, a report by Volunteer Canada revealed that Baby Boomers and Senior Adults provided more than 1 billion volunteer hours in 2010! Clearly volunteering provides non-profits and charities a wealth of expertise, which allows these organizations to provide a multitude of services for free or a very low cost to their communities. However, the benefits of volunteering runs both ways and seniors can also gain many rewards from their volunteer efforts.  Find out more in this week's Changing Lives podcast.

Listen on 91x FM
You can listen to episodes of "Changing Lives"  on 91x FM each Monday (except for holidays) at 9:05am.  Hospice Quinte is grateful to the support that 91x FM provides in producing the "Changing Lives" podcast.

About Hospice Quinte
Hospice Quinte provides individuals, their families, and caregivers with compassionate end of life care, by attending to their physical, psychosocial, and practical needs, and offering empathetic care to those who are grieving through visiting hospice services and support groups.  All Hospice Quinte programs and services are provided by compassionate, well-trained volunteers and staff at no charge to the individual or their family.  

Hospice Quinte serves a population of over 102,000 in Quinte West, Belleville, Deseronto, Tyendinaga Township and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. To find out more visit HospiceQuinte.ca.



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Many non-profit organizations could not survive without the assistance provided by loyal volunteers. In fact, a report by Volunteer Canada revealed that Baby Boomers and Senior Adults provided more than 1 billion volunteer hours in 2010! Clearly volunteering provides non-profits and charities a wealth of expertise, which allows these organizations to provide a multitude of services for free or a very low cost to their communities. However, the benefits of volunteering runs both ways and seniors can also gain many rewards from their volunteer efforts. Volunteering can improve your mental and physical health, reduce feelings of isolation, and help seniors learn new skills which can provide a new sense purpose in a retiree’s life. Let’s discuss a few of these benefits in more detail.

            Volunteering can improve your cognitive health by keeping your brain active and stimulated, and can also improve your physical health by getting you up and moving around. By keeping engaged in meaningful activities, volunteers are keeping their cognitive health intact, which may lower your risk of developing dementia. A retiree’s physical health can be maintained by adhering to a regular schedule and sleep routine and by getting to and from volunteer assignments. Physical activity is important in maintaining one’s health and independence later in life. Think of all those extra steps you could get in just by walking around the centre you are volunteering in, or around your neighbourhood getting to and from your volunteer assignment! 

Committing to a volunteer position can provide a sense of purpose by providing a reason to get out of the home on a regular basis. A study in 2005 found that older adults who volunteer may have the same number of chronic conditions as their peers but report better overall health and functioning and lower mortality rates. Long time volunteers may also develop what is called the ‘helpers high’. A long-term study found that regular volunteering coincided with reduced rates of major illness, as well as a release of natural endorphins which provides a sense of overall wellness.  

            Many older adults face social isolation, and volunteering is a way to maintain their connection with their communities. Volunteering not only connects one to a cause that they care about, but it also fosters friendships through meaningful engagement. By working together with like-minded individuals, volunteering can assist with developing friendships while promoting a cause you are equally invested in. 

The Quinte region in particular has had an influx of newly relocated retirees the past couple of years and volunteering is a way to meet new people and become rooted in your community. Volunteering could be a way for you to renew an old hobby or interest, while in the company of others and serving a greater need for the community. Perhaps you have a special skillset that you could share by teaching others? A new volunteer activity can provide an outlet for your knowledge transfer to help your local community. 

            There are many ways to volunteer with Hospice Quinte where you can share a skill or knowledge that you already have or develop a new skillset altogether. Hospice Quinte relies on volunteers to assist with fundraising events, baking and cooking for hospice residents and by providing visiting volunteer service in the community. Visiting hospice volunteers undergo 33 hours of hospice palliative care training before serving the needs of palliative clients and their families. Our trained volunteers also provide much needed caregiver and bereavement support. One might think that being a hospice volunteer is depressing but many hospice volunteers report that it is one of the most important and rewarding things that they have ever done!  The experience can be transformative, and volunteers feel that they have received many gifts from their clients such as sharing their personal stories, meaningful conversations and life lessons. If you are interested in volunteering with Hospice Quinte, please go to our website at  Hospice-Quinte-dot-CA and submit your application on the volunteer tab.

Hospice Quinte provides individuals, their families, and caregivers with compassionate end of life care, by attending to their physical, psychosocial, and practical needs, and offering empathetic care to those who are grieving through visiting hospice services and support groups.  All Hospice Quinte programs and services are provided by compassionate, well-trained volunteers and staff at no charge to the individual or their family.  We serve a population of over 102,000 in Quinte West, Belleville, Deseronto, Tyendinaga Township and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.