Category Archives: Faith Community

The “Helper’s High”… Why Volunteering is Good for Your Health

512073Research has shown that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities.  Volunteering often leads to what is referred to as a “helper’s high”.

This high leads to increased trust in others as well as increased social participation. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

Aging changes social networks, so older volunteers especially benefit from the physical and social activity and gaining a sense of purpose.  Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health bene ts from their volunteer activities.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ―Winston S. Churchill

Having just returned from the N4A conference (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging),  I learned that AAA’s rely on more than 90,000 volunteers to meet community needs.  Their “Doing Good is Good for You: Volunteer!” program helps recruit new volunteers and educate older adults about the health benefits of volunteering.

The AAA Stepping Up program offers webinars and assignments for volunteers to serve in their mission of helping older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

The boomers have many opportunities to volunteer, and this is one of many organizations that will benefit, especially as the needs for serving this population and their caregivers rises drastically in the future.  Numerous studies show that volunteering just two hours per week improves cognitive, emotional and physical health.

The future of aging services in this country will rely heavily on the knowledge, talent and care hearts that Boomers and future generations have to offer.  Beyond the health and wellness benefits, volunteering will benefit our communities at all levels from social services, faith based communities and non-profit providers across the spectrum who are partnering together to meet the challenges of our aging world.

For more information on volunteering with an Area Agency on Aging, visit www.areagencyonaging.org/…/volunteer-opportunities

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute, whose mission is to provide transformative change through innovative aging and dementia education  and training.

www.AGEucate.com

The World needs more AGE-u-caters! Are you one of them?

The rapid pace of our aging world is changing the face of every facet of our society from health and long term care, to faith communities and business establishments.  Across the spectrum, issues such as these are at the forefront of leadership discussions:

  • Dementia friendly hospitals – how do we transition as the average patient age increases and cognitive impairment becomes more prevalent
  • Person and Resident-centered long term care – how do we properly train the current workforce and prepare for the shortage that is already upon us and certain to become even more severe in the near future?
  • Families caring for older adults make up the largest percentage of caregivers in the US and the world.  How do we educate, support and provide resources to help them cope with the physical, financial, emotional and spiritual challenges of the caregiving journey?
  • Faith Communities are faced with ministering and caring for their skyrocketing numbers of aging adults, yet often lack the training, staff and volunteers to meet the complex needs of their members and families.  How do they receive guidance and training to help them further their ministry and mission in helping those in need?
  • Age friendly communities, businesses and organizations must have a plan and guidance to successfully meet changing demographics.  Who can help with better understanding the needs of older adults?

Aging educators and trainers work with long term care providers, hospitals, the business community, families, faith communities, and public agencies.  They are trained in a variety of aging and caregiver topics,  whether one is a professional or family care partner, business person who serves an older adult population, or serves either of these groups with public resources.  We call them AGE-u-caters and they are part of our team at the AGE-u-cate® Training Institute!

AGE-u-caters are  seasoned professionals in the aging field, coming from the senior care industry, clinicians, social work or education.  All have a passion to help others by using their skills to train, educators and coach others.  Often they are looking for a career change, recently retired from long term regular employment, or supplementing retirement income or other part time work.

AGE-u-caters are networkers, involved in their communities and continually learning about the aging field.  They are part of a fast growing worldwide network aging advocates in their local and regional communities.

The world needs more AGE-u-caters!  Could you be one of them?

www.AGEucate.com

Pam Brandon is President and Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute.  She is a passionate advocate for aging adults and those that care for them and is leading a fast growing network of worldwide AGE-u-caters who offer innovative and powerful training and education programs – creating transformative change for an aging world!