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Senior Care Company in Ann Arbor Michigan Explains How Volunteering Can Improve Senior Health

Senior care workers in Ann Arbor Michigan are spreading the word about the senior health benefits of volunteering in time for National Volunteer Week in April.

PRLog - Mar. 30, 2014 - ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior care professionals in Ann Arbor Michigan know the health benefits that volunteering can have for seniors, and they are spreading the word in time for National Volunteer Week April 6th through 13th.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University recently discovered that seniors who regularly volunteer decrease their blood pressure by 40 percent! The study's lead author, Rodlescia S. Sneed, said, "As people get older, social transitions like retirement, bereavement and the departure of children from the home often leave older adults with fewer natural opportunities for social interaction. Participating in volunteer activities may provide older adults with social connections that they might not have otherwise. There is strong evidence that having good social connections promotes healthy aging and reduces risk for a number of negative health outcomes."

Volunteering is also great for the brain. Dr. Patricia Boyle of Rush University in Chicago explains that as we grow older, we may lose our sense of purpose in life—and this actually puts us at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Volunteering provides the kind of meaningful activity that promotes cognitive health.

Volunteer service also is a powerful tool for fighting depression. University of California, Riverside neurologists used sophisticated brain imaging to demonstrate that practicing acts of kindness boosts connections in the brain that reverse depression and apathy.

Indeed, volunteering is such a potent tonic for senior health that in 2012, the American Medical Association recommended that doctors "prescribe" volunteer service for their patients!

Your Community Needs You

In these days of austerity for our social support programs, volunteers are needed more than ever, yet the schedules of so many younger adults are full with family and job responsibilities. Fortunately, seniors are stepping up to the plate in record numbers: According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, one-fourth of all seniors volunteer—that’s 10 million pairs of helping hands. Says U.S. Senior Corps director Dr. Erwin Tan, "While some may talk about how the aging of America is a problem to be solved, we at Senior Corps believe it is an opportunity for both individuals and communities."

If you would like to give back in this way, the first step is to find a good match between the available opportunities in and around Ann Arbor and your own skills and interests. First consider ...

-Your special skills.
-Your work experience.
-Special knowledge you can share.
-Your interests and the things that are important to you.
-The amount of time and commitment you are willing and able to offer.

Next, it’s time to find local organizations that welcome volunteers and provide training for committed individuals. Many seniors have found rewarding opportunities in …

-Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and other healthcare organizations.
-Schools and youth organizations.
-Parks and recreation departments.
-Charitable organizations.
-Faith communities.
-Civic groups.
-Cultural organizations, such as museums, theaters, art societies and music groups.
-Political groups.

If none of these ideas inspire you, why not create your own volunteer opportunity? Call an organization that interests you and see if they have a volunteer program. If you have the desire to give of your time and energy, volunteer opportunities await you.

What if a senior is living with health problems such as arthritis, cognitive impairment or the effects of stroke? According to Arizona State University psychology professor Dr. Morris Okun, volunteering can help us live longer—and the benefit is even greater for seniors with disabilities. Okun says, "As functional limitations increase, the risk of dying increases, but not among those who volunteer. By helping other people, you are actually helping yourself." No matter what a person’s abilities, there is a volunteer job in the community that will meet a need and make the community a better place.

"Families can enable their senior loved ones to continue long-time volunteer service, or help them find new opportunities," says Charles Williams, President and General Manager of Right at Home of Ann Arbor, a senior care services company in Southeast Michigan. "If your family uses professional senior care services in Ann Arbor, arrange for the caregiver to transport your loved one to their volunteer site."

About Right at Home

Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers home healthcare and companionship and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with franchise offices located in 42 states nationwide and throughout the world. For more information on Right at Home, read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog.

About Right at Home of Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Michigan office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, Inc., providing senior care to the communities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Belleville, Plymouth, Chelsea, Dearborn, Canton, Dexter, and beyond. For more information, contact Right at Home of Ann Arbor at http://www.rightathome.net/washtenaw or by phone at (734) 971-5000.


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Source:Right at Home of Ann Arbor
City/Town:Ann Arbor - Michigan - United States
Industry:Health, Non-profit
Tags:national volunteer week, ann arbor, senior care, senior health, benefits of volunteering
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