Exploring the unexpected health benefits of volunteering

When most people think about volunteering , they think about the impact their service has on the people who are benefiting from it. In reality, the people who give their time volunteering may be the ones who benefit from it most of all. Volunteering can positively impact your life in many ways, including by improving your health. As it turns out, donating your time as a volunteer could be one of the best ways to make a commitment to your health. Here is what you need to know:

Health and volunteering
Researchers have been exploring the impact of volunteering on health for an extended period of time through multiple studies. The results of these studies have indicated that there is a clear, positive relationship between your health and donating your time as a volunteer. Volunteering may affect your health in these ways:

  • Lower mortality rate
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Great functional ability

The health benefits of volunteering seem to increase the more you do it. The greatest benefits were found in people who volunteer for 100 hours per year or more.

Seniors and volunteering
Volunteering can be especially helpful to seniors. Seniors who volunteer receive the greatest health benefits from volunteering. They are less likely to experience things like depression and dementia, and they are less likely to experience physical health problems.

The reasons that seniors receive the largest number of benefits are unknown, but researchers think that volunteering helps them avoid a significant health risk: loneliness. Seniors are more likely than other age groups to face isolation, as well as depression and anxiety associated with being alone. Volunteering keeps seniors from being alone and gives them a social group.

Volunteer opportunities
There are volunteer opportunities throughout every community. The Corporation for National & Community Service connects people with volunteer opportunities, as can local churches, schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center welcomes volunteers to assist with serving patients, greeting guests, and performing clerical work. Students, retirees, professionals, homemakers, and former patients all come together in our dedicated team of volunteers at our hospital in Las Vegas . To learn how you can volunteer your time, call (702) 916-5023.

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