Older Americans Month Brought to you by Senior Extra at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 30, 2013) – May is Older Americans Month — a time to recognize the vitality, contributions and achievements of older adults — and this year’s theme is Unleash the Power of Age. What better way to unleash your own power than by using your talent and experience to give back?

Your successes, failures, celebrations and struggles have given you wisdom, knowledge and valuable life experience. That experience is precious and gives you the ability to make a difference by volunteering in your community. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program has some suggestions to help you get started.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering not only feels good, it’s actually good for you. A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found a significant connection between volunteering and good health. The report showed volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression, and a lower incidence of heart disease. Volunteering also gives you an opportunity to:

  • Learn something new. You can learn new skills, gain knowledge, and discover new interests and activities.
  • Be part of your community. There’s no better way to be part of your community than by giving back. Volunteering allows you to positively impact the well-being of those in your community, and ultimately make it a better place to live.
  • Do what you love. It’s never too late to realize your dreams. Always wanted to be in medicine or have an interest in health care?  Contact Lake Norman Regional’s Volunteer Auxiliary to become a member. Wish you were an artist? Volunteer at an art school or organization. Love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Always wanted to be a teacher? Volunteer as a tutor or instructor. Wherever your interests lie, there’s an opportunity to do what you love as a volunteer.
  • Connect with others. Volunteering can introduce you to a wide variety of people from different backgrounds. It can expand your circle of friends, make you feel part of a team, and give you a better understanding of those around you.
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment. Giving back feels good and gives you a sense of fulfillment, confidence and purpose. Volunteering offers all this and much more.

“Volunteering is a great way for older adults to stay active physically, mentally and socially,” said Leigh Whitfield, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Liaison to the hospital’s Volunteer Auxiliary, "which may help contribute to a healthier, happier lifestyle.  Volunteering is a great way for seniors, as well as people of any age, to stay engaged with others and feel good about themselves.”

True or False: Older volunteers are more likely to experience greater health benefits from volunteering than younger volunteers.

True. According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering provided greater health benefits in volunteers age 60 and older than in younger volunteers. Benefits include improved physical and mental health, and greater life satisfaction.

Getting started

There are a wide range of volunteer opportunities for seniors to share their unique talents and make a valuable contribution. These are just a few organizations that can connect you with volunteer opportunities:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services Eldercare Locator offers national and international volunteer opportunities and resources.
  • Organizations such as AARP and the Age4Action Network provide volunteer opportunities and resources for people age 50 and older.
  • VolunteerMatch allows you to search by your location and interests for opportunities at a wide range of organizations across the country.
  • Points of Light provides access to tools, resources and volunteer opportunities.
  • The Meals On Wheels program provides meals to homebound seniors, offering a variety of roles for volunteers.

So, what’s stopping you from unleashing your own power during Older Americans Month? Get started today and make a difference in your life, and in the lives of others.

Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.

Sources:

Administration on Aging

Corporation for National & Community Service

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services.

About Senior Extra Ever-changing advancements in health care allow us to live longer and improve our overall health. Providing the latest information about health advancements through monthly seminars and events is just one facet of Senior Extra. To sign up for a free membership, visit www.SeniorExtra.com