How Boomers Are Making a Difference Volunteering (and How You Can, Too)

November 29, 2017

senior woman wearing volunteer shirt

Baby boomers, the generation born from 1946 to 1964, have and continue to change the world in many ways. Accomplishments and notable figures include:

Politics. The president and most of the Supreme Court and legislature are boomers.

Inventions. World Wide Web, synthetic scale, nanoscale motor, scanning tunneling microscope, DNA fingerprinting

Medicine. Jarvik 7 artificial heart, portable dialysis machine, ambulatory infusion pump, DNA fingerprinting, Flex-Foot prosthesis, AED, eradication of polio, Deepak Chopra

Technology. MacIntosh, Microsoft, optical character recognition, text-to-speech technology, USB port, ethernet, mobile phones, disposable cell phones, Space Shuttle, Voyager 1

Arts and Entertainment. Kurzweil 250 musical synthesizer, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Ed Sullivan, Tiny Tim, Rolling Stones, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Placido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sylvie Guillem, Twyla Tharp, Liza Minnelli, Roots, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Environment. Foxfibre naturally colored cotton, Silent Spring, EPA, Erin Brockovitch, Natural Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act

Culture. LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, advancement of civil rights, hippies, seat belts, stopped the Vietnam War

Baby Boomers Make Lasting Contributions by Volunteering

Baby boomers continue to make lasting contributions to changing the world. Our strong work ethic doesn’t slow us down even after retirement, so many baby boomers volunteer their time and talents to help make a difference in their community and the world at large. Research shows that boomers in their late 40s to mid-50s had higher volunteer rates than past generations at the same ages.

From serving on boards to reading to young children at local libraries to assisting with political campaigns, volunteering has become a second career of sorts. Not only is it fulfilling, but the rewards that come with it are far greater than a salary.

5 Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. That reason alone is enough for most to want to give back, but when giving back to others you are also giving back to yourself. Doing good deeds actually helps you lead a better, healthier life with many health benefits including:

  1. Longevity. Several studies with adult volunteers age 50 and older reported an increased lifespan. Some research indicates regular volunteering prolongs life an average of five years.
  2. Better mental health. Older volunteers reported lower levels of depression than average and increased recovery from depression after bereavement.
  3. Greater ability. Senior volunteers tend to experience higher levels of activity and lower levels of disability than those who do not.
  4. More social interaction. Volunteers meet more and more diverse people through their service.
  5. Pain control. 75% of seniors who volunteer say volunteering helps them control chronic conditions.

Volunteer Opportunities for Every Preference

Baby boomers are accustomed to doing everything our own way, so why should volunteering be different? Boomers are looking for opportunities that fulfill us and give us purpose. Some ideas other boomers have found interesting include:

Looking for some volunteer opportunities? Check out Volunteer New York. You can search their website to find volunteer opportunities in the Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties and even search specifically for the nonprofits and causes you feel most passionate about.

Volunteering at Kendal on Hudson

We have numerous volunteer programs here at Kendal on Hudson. You can help a resident whose family or friends aren’t close if they must go to nearby Phelps Hospital’s emergency room with our Co-Pilot Program. If you know a special skill, you can teach it as does Harriet Barnett, who teaches Spanish to residents.

Like most Kendal communities, we also encourage philanthropy. Our goals are to help residents who, through no fault of their own, are unable to meet their fees; support wellness programs to meet resident needs; enhance the Health Center for residents; offer staff education and professional advancement; and support programs, services, and research to enhance healthy aging.

Our resident committees also support numerous charities. Discover more by contacting us online or by calling 866-358-5802.

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