June is Elderly Awareness Month. Research has shown that for older adults, volunteering can be an important mechanism for meeting new people, extending connections and ensuring long-term mental health and agility.
The Doing Good Is Good For You survey found that those who give their time to a cause reported a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose, as well as stronger social networks. The survey also found that 76% of respondents reported volunteering made them feel healthier, with 94% saying that it improved their mental well-being and reduced stress levels.
“Many older volunteers possess profound knowledge and experience that can be utilised for a variety of worthy causes and organisations,” says Andy Hadfield, CEO of forgood.co.za. “The nonprofit sector in South Africa can gain real value from this talent pool.”
Forgood connects people to reputable causes and community organisations. Through the site, individuals and groups can find voluntary positions in their local communities or put up a specific offer for services they are skilled in. To date, the online platform has more than 1,400 different opportunities with over 500 social causes to choose from.
“From bookkeeping, consulting, training and mentoring to doing something simple, yet equally satisfying, such as reading storybooks to children – there are a number of ways for older generations to get involved and make a difference.”
Why volunteering is good for you:
- New networks and friends – building new relationships or improving old ones through volunteering can strengthen your ties to your community and broaden your support network. In turn this exposes you to people with common interests, neighbourhood resources and fun and fulfilling activities.
- No pensioner discount required – financial worry is something that most people have to deal with once retired. Volunteering won’t cost you a cent, which means less stress and more fun.
- Go MAD and Make A Difference – volunteering gives you the oppportunity to help others, which in turn will help you to not only feel fulfilled but also to feel valued – these are all great for your long-term mental health and well-being.
- Never too old to learn – volunteering can teach you all kinds of new things, which will help to keep your brain active and healthy.
- Keeps you active – whether it’s playing with young children or helping to build a library, volunteering can help you to stay fit and physically strong.
- The happiness effect – it’s a fact, the more you volunteer the happier you are.
Are you a retired South African?
Find tailored volunteering opportunities by visiting: https://www.forgood.co.za/Campaign/Index/Retired-Volunteer.
For more information on forgood, visit: