By Amy Hilliard
The holiday season is in full swing. In addition to shopping and entertaining family and friends, the holidays are also a great time to be of service to others.
Everyone, regardless of age, can volunteer. In fact, older adults have a lifetime of knowledge, expertise and skills which make them especially equipped to positively impact society and make a difference in others’ lives.
In addition the intrinsic rewards of giving back, people who volunteer report improved physical and mental health. A recent study found that 68 percent of volunteers reported feeling better and physically healthier while 89 percent stated they improved their sense of wellbeing.
Below are a few ways to give back this holiday season and throughout the upcoming year:
Share Your Expertise
Were you a former chairman or an accountant? Why not share your breadth of knowledge with entrepreneurs as they try to avoid the pitfalls of small business ownership? Organizations such as SCORE provide confidential business mentoring services and host workshops to help small business owners achieve success. Retired executives and CEOs are always welcomed.
Become a Foster Grandparent
With families living further apart than previous generations, it’s not usual for young adults to see their grandparents infrequently. Becoming a foster grandparent can be a rewarding experience for young and old alike. Intergenerational activities help bridge the gap between older adults and teenagers and shatter misconceptions about aging.
Tap into Your Hobbies
Seniors who enjoy knitting or crocheting will find their crafts can be enjoyed by more than just family and friends. From hospitals to oncology departments, there are several facilities that can make use of baby hats and lap blankets.
At The Carlisle Naples, a luxury senior living community, several residents find that without day-to-day responsibilities such as cooking, they can truly immerse themselves in their hobbies while giving back to the community at large. For example, resident Bernita B. Smith, 90, says art history is her true love. She combines her passion with helping others by volunteering at the Naples Art Association in Downtown Naples each week.
Support a Cause
Post-retirement is the perfect time to champion a cause which may be near and dear to one’s heart. Homelessness, education, women’s equality and accessibility to health care are just a few of the areas in which older adults can lend their voice. A simple internet search will be able to locate a charity that addresses each respective issue. From making telephone calls to writing letters of support, there is a task for everyone looking to get involved.
Look Around – Opportunities Abound
Cuddling a premature baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), walking a dog at an animal shelter or greeting guests at a museum are just a few of the numerous tasks performed by volunteers across the country.
Organizations such as Senior Corps and AARP are wonderful resources for matching older adults’ talents and interests with noteworthy charities in need of assistance.
“In giving back to others, you can truly reap tremendous health benefits,” said The Carlisle’s Executive Director Bill Diamond. “Our community’s maintenance-free lifestyle affords residents the opportunity to spend each day as they wish. For many, that means volunteering right here at The Carlisle while for others it’s serving the Collier County community at large.”
Located at 6945 Carlisle Court in Naples, The Carlisle offers spacious one-and two-bedroom residences include lifetime care and maintenance, weekly housekeeping and flat linen services, basic cable TV, all utilities except telephone, and a complimentary full breakfast plus choice of lunch or dinner in the community’s gourmet-style restaurant.
For more information about the community, please call 239-221-0017 or visit www.TheCarlisleNaples.com.
The Carlisle, a luxury, resort-style senior living community in North Naples, offers both Independent and Assisted Living lifestyles. Available on a monthly fee basis, the ECC-licensed and CARF-accredited community boasts a full range of services and amenities including 12-hour restaurant dining, housekeeping, transportation and activities. Located on Airport-Pulling
Road, between Pine Ridge and Immokalee Roads, the award-winning community’s lush tropical environment is highlighted with meandering walking paths around three lakes and tranquility gardens. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call Director of Marketing Amy Hilliard at 239-221-0017.
Luxury Rental Retirement Living
6945 Carlisle Court, Naples, FL 34109
239-221-0017 . www.srgseniorliving.com