Volunteering- Help someone and help yourself.
Volunteering does more than just make you feel good or get you out in the community. Research has explored this issue of volunteering and wellbeing and the data is in- Volunteering is actually good for your health! So what are some of the findings.
- Older people (60yo or greater) get the most out of volunteering. This includes improved physical function, cognitive function and life satisfaction.
- Volunteering helps the isolation, depression, or adjustment to new role definitions that can occur after retirement.
- A minimal amount of volunteering is necessary to get true benefits. The exact amount is not known but research suggests more than 40 hours per year or activities with more than two organizations.
- Volunteering increases life satisfaction and reduces the risk of depression.
- The earlier you start the better. People who begin volunteering early in life have better health later in life.
- Volunteers live longer!
So how do you get started?
Think about what interests you or what you are passionate about. Is it our children’s educational needs, food and shelter for the hungry, a religious activity or support of others with Parkinson’s disease. There is no shortage of volunteering opportunities. The most important thing is to believe and feel passionate about what you are supporting.
Interested in helping other’s with Parkinson’s disease? Contact the Northwest Parkinson’s foundation, your local organization, support group leader, community center or your healthcare provider to find out how you can get involved.
See additional articles on gratitude, power of positivity
and the accompanying article about volunteering for more information on these topics.