Giving to others is one of the most rewarding aspects of the holiday season. And what better way to make a difference in the life of a senior than by volunteering your time.
Most of us will be surrounded by family and friends this season, but for many seniors, this may not be a reality.
Volunteering to offer a little time to meet the needs of a senior who lives alone, could be the very thing that makes their holiday a little bit brighter.
If you’re wondering how you can make a difference in the lives of others, consider volunteering at your local senior center or retirement home. By doing so, with a little thought and some creativity, the time you spend with an elderly person could end up being an unforgettable experience all around.
There are a number of things you can do to meet the needs of the elderly community. Freedom Home Care found just a few examples of how both you and an older friend or loved one can benefit from the gift of giving this holiday season.
Deliver a Meal
For those seniors who live in a retirement facility, there’s nothing quite like a good home-cooked meal. By simply adding one or two more people to the “guest list”, you’re providing a meal to someone in need. Be aware of any dietary restrictions by making arrangements with the senior home prior to the delivery. Your recipients are sure to appreciate the warm, holiday gesture.
Even if they are receiving specialized services from a home care facility, organizations like Meals on Wheels are dedicated to combating loneliness and making sure homebound seniors are provided with healthy meals at home.
Give Them the Gift of Music
If you sing or play an instrument, consider taking your talents to a local senior living community. Not only does music inspire and entertain, it’s also been known to have positive effects on those who suffer from dementia.
Recent studies have shown that music is helpful in getting some Alzheimer’s patients to recall memories and emotions while shifting moods and managing stress in others. Not only are you offering older recipients the gift of music, you’re giving them a chance at capturing cherished memories again.
Offer Free Financial Advice
This is the time of year when spending is at its highest. While buying gifts for loved ones, homebound seniors sometimes give in to marketing gimmicks whether by mail or by phone. But organizations like AARP and Charles Schwab have teamed up to offer expert financial advice to seniors on a fixed income, while programs like AARP Foundation Finances 50+ provide training to those who have no formal background in finances, but want to volunteer to help.
Volunteer to Help Peers
Other programs are designed to connect older community members with their peers to express their talents and interests. Seniors Serving Seniors is an award-winning program that was created for elderly volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of other seniors. Not only do the seniors who serve experience a more fulfilled life, they’re also able to meet the needs of fellow home care agency residents in an empathetic and relatable way.