Volunteering with seniors is one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do. Whether you volunteer year-round or for a season, your impact will have lasting effects. Volunteerism can point you to new interests, new friends, and maybe even a lifelong passion.
Volunteering at a senior living center is a great way for teenagers, college and university students, or anyone who has time, to give back to their communities and make a difference in someone’s life.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of volunteering and learn about the All Seniors Care scholarship program.
What are the Benefits of Volunteering at a Retirement Residence
1. Developing Life Skills:
Interacting with the elderly can be a powerful way for students to cultivate essential life skills. Empathy, patience, and active listening are just a few of the many skills honed while volunteering. Moreover, hearing firsthand accounts of past challenges, successes, and lessons can guide young people in making informed decisions in their own lives.
2. Recognizing the Importance of Human Connection:
In a world dominated by screens and virtual interactions, direct human connection is more important than ever. Spending time with older adults can remind people of the power and significance of real-life interactions, fostering genuine relationships and understanding the meaning of companionship.
3. Experiencing the Rewards of Giving Back:
There’s an intrinsic joy in giving without expecting anything in return. Helping seniors in assisted living participate in activities or simply providing companionship can leave students with a profound sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. This experience can shape their values and priorities, emphasizing the importance of community service.
4. Gaining a Broader Worldview:
Elderly individuals have seen decades of change, witnessed historical events, and navigated various societal shifts. By sharing stories, student volunteers can acquire a richer and more comprehensive understanding of the world. This invaluable perspective can provide context to current events and societal changes, giving young people a more rounded worldview.
5. Preparing for Future Careers:
For students interested in healthcare, psychology, or social work, volunteering with older adults offers hands-on experience and insights into potential career paths. However, regardless of their career aspirations, this experience can equip students with transferrable skills, like problem-solving, communication, and teamwork, that are invaluable in any profession.
6. Reducing Loneliness:
Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation. Regular visits from young volunteers can alleviate feelings of isolation and boost the overall well-being of senior residents. Conversely, students can find respite from their own anxieties. By spending time in service to others, volunteers often feel a sense of meaning and appreciation, both given and received, which can have a stress-reducing effect. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with other like-minded students!
7. Fulfilling Graduation and Program Requirements:
Many high schools and college programs have recognized the immense value of community service, making it a prerequisite for graduation or course completion. Volunteering at retirement residences not only meets these requirements but also provides an enriching and profound experience. Beyond just ticking off a requirement, the depth and quality of interactions in senior living centres can enhance personal statements or applications for further studies or job positions. It showcases a student’s commitment to community, empathy, and their ability to engage with diverse groups.
8. Embracing the Joy of Shared Moments:
Spending time with older adults is also about shared laughter, fun activities, and unexpected moments of joy. Whether it’s playing a game of cards, listening to music, dancing, or even engaging in a lighthearted conversation, there’s an abundance of fun to be had. All Seniors Care retirement residences organize group activities, games, and events where both the residents and volunteers can enjoy themselves. By participating, students often discover that these shared moments of joy can form some of the most memorable experiences.
9. Earn Scholarship Money:
Volunteering can be an amazing way to give back to your local community. But, for high school and college students, the benefits may go beyond good karma; they can actually earn scholarships for volunteer service too.
If you are a student, check out our Scholarship Program. The purpose is to provide financial assistance to our committed student volunteers who donate their time, talents and skills to the All Seniors Care Living Centres communities. You can contact us anytime for more info about this scholarship and how you can apply for it.
In essence, while students begin their volunteer journey with seniors for a multitude of reasons, many find that the experience is far more rewarding and multifaceted than they initially anticipated. The relationships built, skills gained, and memories created often leave a lasting impact, motivating them to continue their engagement or advocate for others to join in.
Put Your Skills to Use
Volunteers play an active and important role at All Seniors Care. We have many opportunities for caring and compassionate people. Whether you are interested in assisting our trained staff in a specific activity, or leading a program on your own, we will customize your experience so that it meets your needs while positively impacting the lives of our residents.
Some of the volunteer opportunities in our senior living communities:
- Conducting one-on-one social visits with residents
- Assisting with special events, game nights, and clubs
- Intergenerational programs
- Crafts and music programs
- Baking & cooking
- Video chat lessons
- Reading or letter-writing
Rest assured, volunteers receive all the guidance, support, and training that they need to have a successful experience.
Make A Difference in A Senior’s Life
As a volunteer you will be welcomed into our All Seniors Care family, giving you the opportunity to be part of a vibrant and social community, make some new friends, and experience the diverse personalities of our residents.
If you’re a high school or college student seeking a meaningful way to contribute and grow, consider spending time with the unsung heroes of our society – the elderly.
Writer – Julianna McLeod
Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.