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5 Places to Find Volunteer Opportunities with Seniors and the Elderly

User Category: General HealthOn: November 20, 2013

Today about 1.3 million seniors live alone and over 40% report loneliness is an issue in their lives. Social isolation is a widespread problem among the aging population -- one that can have substantial negative health effects including a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living and premature death.  Seniors who remain living in their own homes can face a number of other challenges: everything from caring for a spouse, dealing with multiple chronic health conditions, finances, and more.  Luckily, each day volunteers across the country offer their time to help make a difference for the nation’s over 40 million older Americans. If you are looking for ways to offer your time to help seniors and elderly in need this season, here are 5 of our favorite resources for finding volunteer opportunities to work with the aging population:

  1. VolunteerMatch.org – VolunteerMatch lets you search for local opportunities to serve community-based organizations. Simply enter your city to search by location and further narrow your search by choosing “Seniors” from the area labeled “Cause Areas” to filter for opportunities to volunteer with organizations that serve the elderly.
  2. Idealist.org  - Idealist connects people with organizations they care about. You can search for volunteer opportunities by location or by entering specific keywords of interest to you such as “elder abuse” or “food bank”.
  3. Local government – Check your city or county website for volunteer opportunities with public organizations.
  4. AARP  - AARP offers a number of volunteer programs from national initiatives such as a tax prep help initiative to regional and state advocacy opportunities. Use their “Volunteer Wizard” to find the project that is the best fit for you and the time you have available.
  5. Meals on Wheels – The oldest and largest national Senior Nutrition organization, The Meals on Wheels Association of America boasts over 5,000 programs across the US. By entering you zip code, you can find a local senior nutrition program to volunteer with.