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Nursing Homes Need You

One of the best ways to give back is volunteering. And America needs volunteers now more than ever. Volunteerism has halved to 24% in the last 14 years. Giving free time at a skilled nursing facility provides new skills and care for a rapidly aging population. Volunteers enjoy the process and the benefits that go all around.

Preparing to volunteer

Most homes have a process to make volunteering easy. Chances are, the facility has a point person responsible for volunteers. Connect with the home to find out what the needs are and the times volunteers are needed. If going through a non-profit organization or agency, individuals are paired with a home-based on need. Once volunteers show up, expect training and safety briefs to ensure the process goes well.

Expect to do the little things

Surprisingly, volunteers do not need to be experienced in elderly care to contribute. Nursing homes know time is valuable. Tasks like talking, reading, or playing games do wonders. Homes appreciate help from qualified individuals with important tasks like feeding and mobility too. If volunteers have specialized skills like painting, music, or doing hair and nails, these can be put to good use as well. Volunteers can contribute to shopping errands, providing emotional comfort, and even helping with technology.

Improving the quality of service

Across the country, staff for elder care homes are in short supply. The turnover rate is over 55%. Even so, fully staffed homes know the importance of a younger influence on residents. Studies show seniors who interact with youth have an improved quality of life. Having helpful volunteers also improves the quality of service. Residents and families feel confident the home has a diverse community to keep the lives of loved ones enriched.

Helping seniors stay young at heart

For residents in a nursing home, the transition could be difficult. At one moment, persons are mobile and independent. Then in the blink of an eye, seniors need extensive care and lose a sense of independence. Interacting with younger helpers improves cognition and reduces the odds of dying from loneliness. Seniors become happier, live longer, and stay young at heart.

Sage-like advice

A big benefit volunteers get from skilled nursing facility is the advice from seniors. Within the walls of a these homes lay hundreds of years of wisdom and experience. Residents are always willing to share nuggets of knowledge when interacting with helpers.

Bringing light back into your life

The intrinsic feeling of satisfaction a volunteer receives is invaluable. Imagine contributing to a cause and getting a bigger sense of purpose. Studies show interacting with seniors decreases depression and reduces lifestyle diseases like hypertension.

A life-changing experience for all

When considering volunteering, the return on the investment of time is worth more than an hourly wage. Volunteering is a great skill to add to resumes. And seniors get much-needed companionship. More importantly, residents feel valued and live longer. Seek out a nearby home and put aside some hours to volunteer today.