When you retire, you can lose a network of friends along with the satisfaction of accomplishing something worthwhile.
Volunteering provides an opportunity not just to create new social connections and give back to the community — it confers a host of other psychological, and even physical benefits, to boot.
For instance, volunteering has been linked with, among other things, better blood pressure control and increased longevity. There’s also some evidence suggesting it helps keep your brain sharp.
So why not give some thought to the kinds of organizations you’d like to support, the skills you’d like to share with others, or what kind of volunteer position might fill a personal need or desire (such as the chance to see the world through a child’s eyes) while helping others?
Thank-you again to the wonderful interviewees who so kindly contributed their time and expertise:
- Dr. Nicole Anderson, a seniors scientist with the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
- Dr. Sylvie Belleville, research director of the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM), and a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Montréal.
- Bev Farrell, a therapeutic recreation specialist at St. Joseph’s Health Care London (Ont.).
- Janice Kreider, a volunteer with the Intergenerational Landed Learning Project at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education in Vancouver.
- Melanie Levasseur, a professor in the school of rehabilitation at the University of Sherbrooke, and director, empowerment pillar and researcher at the CIUSS de L’estrie-CHUS in Sherbrooke, Que.