“Volunteering has been proven to boost cognitive and physical wellbeing, combat loneliness and isolation and is even associated with a 24% reduction in mortality risk for older adults,” according to Louth Volunteer Centre Manager Kayleigh Mulligan.
“This information session will look at this and other benefits as well as giving practical information on where help is needed and how to access volunteering roles in the local community.”
Positive Ageing Week runs from September 25th to October 1st this year and to mark this, Louth Volunteer Centre are hosting an session in line with the week’s theme “Challenging Ageism - Reframing How We Think, Feel and Act towards ageing and older persons” in Dundalk Library on Tuesday 27th September at 2pm.
The session will specifically look at how volunteering can benefit older people - not in the context of volunteering to help them, but rather as volunteers themselves.
Often, when we hear ‘older people’ and ‘volunteering’ in the same sentence, we might think about charitable organisations such as ALONE that work to help older people and combat ageism in our society.
However, older adults are an absolutely invaluable part of the volunteering ecosystem themselves.
Positive Ageing Week (PAW) is an Age Action initiative to promote the agency of older people and to celebrate the contribution they make to our families, workplaces, communities and society as a whole.
Older people have invaluable skills and life experience that would be an asset to any community organisation.
If you are retired or find that there isn’t as much work to be done around the house as there once was, volunteering can help add structure to your day.
It can be difficult to adjust to big life changes like these, and sometimes having too much free time can make us feel lost. Many retirees who volunteer report that their roles become a fulfilling way to spend their time, and a fantastic way to combat boredom.
As well as that, it helps to give your days and weeks some structure and a schedule, which is often cited as a key factor in managing and preventing depression and other mental health issues.
The ‘helper’s high’, a concept coined by the professor Dr. Allan Luks, found that those who volunteer are ten times more likely to be in good health than those who do not.
There are many opportunities to volunteer available through Louth Volunteer Centre and something to suit all ages and abilities.
Organisations such as Alone, SOSAD, Louth SPCA, Turas Counselling service, An Táin Arts Centre and Dundalk FM, to name but a few, currently have roles available that would be suitable for the older adult.
Find out more about these roles by coming along to the session, call Louth Volunteer Centre on 042 939 2934 or visit www.volunteerlouth.ie.
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