Volunteering is one of the best ways to improve emotional health. Several studies have proven the far-reaching benefits community service can reap for older adults, which include better socialization, greater memory care and increased self-confidence. Whether people are participating in group building projects or donating their time to nonprofit organizations, participating in these activities is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors.
Those living in Baltimore retirement communities have many options when it comes to choosing the perfect volunteering opportunity. The city is replete with community service programs for older adults, most of which aim to connect seniors with other people living in the area.
Meals on Wheels delivers food to residents
Many retirement community seniors in the Baltimore area work with nonprofit Meals on Wheels, which delivers food items to citizens who are in need, including people who are living in poverty and older adults who do not have the means to frequently venture outdoors. The Baltimore Sun reported that the organization served more than 1 million meals to over 2,500 people in 2013. Not only do volunteers have the opportunity to deliver nutritious offerings to those in need, but they get to spend quality time with individuals who do not see many other visitors, explained Bob Goodman, who volunteers with the organization.
"The majority of the people that you visit, the only contact they're going to have all day is you," Goodman said to the source. "You get to know them and after a while, you can walk in and tell if there's something wrong."
The service primarily delivers meals to residents who cannot travel to restaurants or grocery stores on their own, and it reaches eight counties across the state of Maryland.
Seniors assist children in Baltimore County Public Schools
Deliberate Excellence, the Baltimore County Public Schools' blog, reported on the relationship between the school system and the Baltimore County Department of Aging's Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Members of the RSVP can travel to schools across Baltimore County and work with young students to develop their academic skills. Seniors can help children work in centers, provide one-on-one help and read at story time.
Robin Schwarz, a teacher at Pinewood Elementary School, explained to the source that her volunteer, Mr. Dey, has proven to be an integral part of her classroom's operations. She said that he is not only great at working with children, but he is important for helping Schwarz to empower all students in her classroom.
The BCPS explained that any senior who can donate six or more hours per week should look into volunteering in local classrooms.