Volunteering to assist seniors is likely to grow more crucial to their welfare in the coming years, as the number of Americans over the age of 55 swells from 76 million today to 110 million in 20 years. Chances are that many of them could use a helping hand around the house or just someone to talk to if their friends and family don’t live nearby.

And you have something to get out of it, too. You’ll make new friends, learn new things and become more involved with the local community through your efforts. There really is no downside, so here are some ideas on how to get involved.

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Stop by with Your Toolbox

Seniors who are aging in place can use a helping hand when it comes to keeping their home safe and comfortable. If you’re a DIY master, stop by to see if there are any minor repairs you can help with, such as a clogged sink or a wobbly porch step. You can also help with minor home modifications that will help address any potential hazards, especially when it comes to falls. Consider adding non-slip strips and grab bars to their bathtub or shower, taping loose carpeting or rugs to the floor, or simply moving trip-inducing cords off of the floor and out of the way.

If you’re not a DIY master, you can also set a senior up with cleaning and landscaping services to help maintain their home. Also, it’s ideal for gutters to be cleaned regularly (at least twice a year) to prevent roof damage. Instead of searching for “gutter cleaning in my area,” visit a site like Angi which offers ratings, reviews, and feedback from past customers. Whether you’re DIYing jobs around their home or hiring the right services to help, seniors will appreciate your efforts in keeping them safe in their home.

Have a Cup of Tea

According to A Place for Mom, almost 30 percent of people over the age of 65 live alone, which leads to social isolation followed by sadness and depression. That should be all the reason you need to stop by an older neighbor’s house for a cup of tea from time to time. It’ll give you a chance to check up on their health and maybe lend a hand with the chores.

Do Some Shopping

Just running errands can be difficult for many seniors, especially those with mobility problems, says CityLab. You can make a huge difference by heading to the store for them and bringing home their groceries. Better yet, accompany them so they can get out of the house and get a breath of fresh air and some social interaction.

Cook Them Dinner

Eating right is important for people of all ages, but especially for seniors, as they’re at an increased risk for a number of health conditions, and a poor diet only makes things worse. Unfortunately, up to 30 percent of people over 65 skip at least one meal a day, and only 17 percent eat a balanced diet. There are likely a few cases in your own neighborhood, and the solution is in your own kitchen and pantry.

Deliver Meals

If you’re a bit wary of going out and feeding seniors on your own, there’s an organization devoted to exactly this task, and they’ve been around for decades. Meals on Wheels began delivering hot food to the housebound in the United States in the 1970s. They’re always looking for volunteers, many of whom are the only people the elderly see throughout the day.

Give Them a Lift

You can use your car to help in other ways. Care Cars is a charity in Spokane, Washington, that gives seniors a lift to their appointments through a network of volunteer drivers when they can’t find a ride themselves. Those who use the service have called it a “saving grace,” as they don’t have family nearby to help out. If there’s no such organization in your area, contact other charities to find out if you can help out in this way.

Head to the Nursing Home

While most facilities have no trouble offering the medical services their residents need, many fall short when it comes to social interaction, and that’s where you come in. Your visits would mostly consist of making some friends, listening to their stories and maybe going for a walk or playing a game. The comfort you provide by just being there would be invaluable for those with nobody to talk to.

Even if you are busy with work and your social life, you can probably find a little time in the evenings or on the weekends. Seniors in your area would greatly appreciate your efforts, and you would enjoy helping them. There’s no reason to say no.


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