How and Where to Volunteer in Aging Services
Do you have a special interest in older people? Maybe you treasure your grandparents or just appreciate the wisdom and generosity of an older person you know well. Or you maybe you're looking for an opportunity that could lead to an interesting and rewarding career. Whatever the reason, it's great that you're considering volunteering and helping older people.
On this page, you'll find the information you need to find the volunteer opportunity that's right for you.
There are many resources to help you find volunteer opportunities. You can use LeadingAge's Member Directory to find aging-services providers in your community. You can also investigate if your local Area Agency on Aging has a volunteer program. Remember that when evaluating opportunities, consider your time, schedule and transportation options.
Many organizations have a volunteer coordinator. Their job is to help you make the most of your time for the people they serve. That means answering any of your questions.
If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. There are many people and organizations who need your help.
Use the information you've evaluated to find the volunteer opportunity that's right for you.
When you begin your volunteer assignment, make sure you show up when you say you will. Be responsible. Volunteering can be hard work, but don't ever think that you're not making a difference. You are. Remember, just because someone doesn't always say thank you out loud, it doesn't mean they don't appreciate what you're doing for them.
Where to Volunteer
Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are great places to volunteer. Here are some ways you can help out:
- Visit residents.
- Provide entertainment.
- Assist with social activities.
- Organize a group of volunteers to visit.
Senior Housing Communities
There are probably housing facilities for older people in or near your community. Senior housing ranges from continuing care retirement communities to subsidized housing for low- and moderate-income elderly.
There are many ways to help senior housing residents. These may include going grocery shopping or running a resident's errands, helping out at a community's library or gift shop, setting up a holiday party or organizing another social activity.
Community Services Agencies
There are many organizations that provide home and community-based services to seniors who live in their own homes. Many of these organizations need volunteers too. Here are some ways you can help:
- Help out at a senior center.
- Visit a senior on a regular basis.
- Assist with delivering meals.
- Provide transportation to seniors who can no longer drive.