Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Retirees: Volunteering good for your health

Sonya Stinson, Forbes.com, writes about retirees that spend their golden years helping others--such as a couple who go out on the Mercy Ships treating sick children in underdeveloped countries. One remembered a child who had gained sight for the first time--from the deck of the ship, the mother pointed out a tree, the sky...

Mercy Ships now operate in Africa. The couple, both 79, now works mainly in the home office in Texas.

In May 2012, the Corporation for National & Community Service said 18.7 million adults 55 and over contribute more than three billion hours of service.

This helps not only these countries and communities--but the volunteers.

Older people who volunteer tend to live longer. A spokesperson for Senior Corps, a program within CNCS that hooks up older people with organizations needing help, said this contention is borne out by studies. A sense of purpose? More physical activity? Whatever the reason--it's good for you.

Volunteering also exercises the brain. You learn problem solving, maybe another language.

Just teaching reading is very tricky and takes lots of brain power.

And--volunteers are less lonely and more social. They experience shorter periods of depression after a loss.

One geriatrician prescribes volunteering.

So what do you think? You up for some fun, travel, and good works?

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