Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” What better than to give back to ones who have already offered so much of their lives to serve others? From former international missionaries to political leaders to military heroes, senior adults have spent their lives building a better world for the coming generations. Now, it’s time to serve them.
Here are six simple ways to get involved with your local senior living community. And who knows? You might just learn something along the way.
1. Volunteer with a specific event.
Each month, a community’s life-enrichment director plans a full lineup of exciting opportunities for residents, from dinner outings to luaus to ice cream socials to holiday parties. These events enable residents to create memorable moments with friends and neighbors. By helping orchestrate a special event, you bring extra energy to the community and become part of the resident-focused environment.
2. Include senior adults in community action programs.
Conducting a city-wide food drive or hosting a school supply fundraiser? Don’t forget to include your local senior living community. Residents want to be involved in area happenings and are often eager to give their time and resources to help make a difference.
3. Write a letter to a senior adult.
For many seniors, a highlight of the day is checking the mail. The joy of receiving a letter helps a resident know they are valued, loved and noticed. Writing a thoughtful letter requires little time, and becoming pen pals with a local senior can enrich your life as well as theirs.
4. Record seniors’ stories.
Senior adults are walking history books, full of stories and tales from days past. Many want to share their stories but don’t know how. By taking a few hours to sit down with a senior, ask about their life and really listen to what they have to say, you can help preserve history forever.
5. Share your talent.
Do you have a musical, acting or artistic talent? Share it with a senior living community! Don’t feel like it has to be perfect; residents want simple entertainment and rarely expect a Carnegie Hall performance. Oftentimes, cultural exposure through music and art can help with memory retention, enabling senior adults to live longer, more meaningful lives.
6. Adopt a senior without local family.
Occasionally, senior adults live in communities far from family and familiarity. The biggest difference you can make with these residents is showing up, sitting down and showing you care. Ask your local community specifically about a resident without family, and adopt them into your own family. You can visit the resident regularly or, depending on their care level, even invite them to your family gatherings.
To learn about these opportunities and more, call your local senior living community and ask how you can get involved. To speak with your local Buckner Senior Living community, call 800-381-4551.