You know that rich life experiences are indispensable. They’ve helped make up everything you are today. So just imagine how many valuable stories, lessons and experiences your elders can share with you. When you spend time volunteering with seniors, you’ll benefit just as much as they do—and you can learn a lot too!
We’ve compiled some ideas for different ways to lend a hand, a listening ear or your skills to seniors—from reminiscing to making new memories. Remember, simply giving your time and conversation can sometimes mean the most.
Visit an assisted living facility
One of the most meaningful things you can do for someone in an assisted living facility is share some quality time together. Whether you’re going to see a neighbor, loved one or new friend, make the most of your visit by planning ahead. Call ahead to plan a time to drop by, or schedule regular visits that your friend can look forward to. Bring along a board game or cards, a care package, a video or a home-baked treat.
Even if your days fill up quickly, just a quick hello can brighten someone’s day. Find more ideas on our friendly visitor kit.
Reach out locally
Chances are there are seniors right in your own neighborhood who could use your help.
Be a companion
If you don’t have a parent or grandparent of your own that needs some extra caring for, there are plenty of seniors out there who could use some company! And there are many programs and organizations that can match you up with the perfect friend in your area.
Continue lifelong learning
Whether you’re at a nursing home or a neighbor’s or loved one’s home, ask yourself what you can learn from your older friend—many of their experiences may surprise you! While they’ve likely compiled stories over the years, it can often be challenging to know just what to ask in order to kick-start a conversation. Here are some ways to help get them reminiscing—and the good stories flowing.