Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors

Senior Lifestyle Magazine, Bayside, February/March 2019 

For many of us, retirement is a time to unwind, put our feet up and indulge in our favourite hobby or interest. However, for some, retirement could also mean a loss of routine and purpose, reduced social interactions, leading to loneliness and isolation.

Volunteering may be solution for those retirees who are looking at staying active and engaged with their community during their senior years.

Giving your time to a worthy cause can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Senior volunteers are much sought after by many organisations thanks to their skills and life-experiences.

STAR Community Services is a non-profit organisation that supports Redlands seniors enjoy an independent and healthy life. In addition to providing a range of aged care services, STAR also welcomes Redlands seniors to become a part of its volunteering team.

Seventy-five-year-old Sue Casben has been supporting Redlands seniors as a STAR Companionship volunteer for over three years. “I love being a companionship volunteer. I feel it’s very rewarding. It enables me to do something for others. Fortunately, I am still in good health so I am able to give back to my community. The people I support are wonderful. Once we get to know each other they treat me like a good friend or family. It is very flexible too. I go away on holidays to recharge my batteries and come back feeling refreshed- ready to give a hand to the elderly.”

Become a STAR volunteer.

As a community organisation with over 150 volunteers, STAR truly values the contribution of its volunteers. A variety of volunteering opportunities are available.  

  • Companionship Volunteers: STAR Companionship Support Program offers healthy social interactions for the overall wellbeing of our seniors. STAR is seeking committed volunteers to support the elderly engage with the wider community and enjoy a purposeful lifestyle. If you enjoy sharing life experiences, participating in meaningful conversations, and supporting independent living such as helping healthy meal preparations, please call STAR.
  • Volunteer Drivers: STAR Volunteer drivers support the elderly and those with disability, get to and from their social and medical appointments. If you have a vehicle that is under 10 years old, you could also choose to become a STAR Owner Driver. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be reimbursed at the ATO rate for your expenses. Please contact STAR for more information.
  • Call Centre Volunteers: STAR Call centre volunteers receive phone call and assist the clients with their enquiries. If you enjoy talking to people and want to be a part of a team, please give us a call. No prior experience is required.

 If you are available during weekdays, would like to make some new friends and experience the rich and diverse personalities of our seniors, please call STAR on 3821 6699 for more information. Flexible hours, full training and ongoing support is provided to all volunteers. Visit www.starcommunityservices.org.au.

 Why volunteer?

  • For better health: Doing active work, staying social and working towards a goal helps improve cognitive health. Volunteering can help keep your mind sharp and resilient. Recent studies show that those who volunteer regularly experience positive mental and physical health outcomes, such as reduced stress and lower blood pressure.
  • Have fun: Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, make new friends and enjoy quality time with like-minded people.
  • Engage with your community: Volunteering allows retirees to plug into positive activities that make a meaningful contribution to their communities.

Volunteering Redlands (VR) is the volunteering arm of STAR. VR is the hub of all volunteering activities in Redlands, connecting volunteers with their ideal volunteering role with a local community organisation. For more information on volunteering opportunities call VR on 3086 0000.

Read the original article on  http://specialpubs.fairfaxregional.com.au/e-mags/2019/SL/0201_01