Why older people should volunteer
Volunteering has social, mental, and physical benefits for people of all ages. But these benefits truly reveal themselves for older folks, who often have more time on their hands, are less physically active, and engage less with the community than the average resident. According to research conducted by multiple outlets, volunteers live longer because of a culmination of benefits, which are outlined by the National Council for Aging Care.
AmeriCorps Seniors is a federal agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.
AmeriCorps Seniors is made up of three main programs:
- Foster Grandparents
- Senior Companions
Participants must be 55 years of age or older.
Volunteer Iowa supports AmeriCorps Seniors programs with training and networking opportunities and recognition events, in addition to coordinating state funding for RSVP programs serving Iowa.
Finding the right AmeriCorps Seniors program for you means finding the right match between your skills and interests, and the benefits and opportunities offered by each program.
- Consider the Foster Grandparent program if you like working with young people.
- Look into the Senior Companion program if you would like to help older adults.
- Check out how you can choose your own volunteer experience through RSVP if you’re not sure what type of volunteer experience you are seeking.
RSVP gives volunteers the flexibility and choice to serve where and when they like. As a member of RSVP, the volunteer can choose from a broad range of volunteer positions, depending upon whether they would like to use their current skills or develop new ones. They also choose their commitment, serving from a few hours to more than 40 hours a week. With RSVP, you’ll receive: pre-service orientation; training from the organization where you serve; and, supplemental insurance while on duty
Are you ready to explore the possibilities with RSVP? Find a project near you!
Foster Grandparents connects volunteers with children and young people with special needs, such as disabled youth or those who are struggling in school. Foster Grandparents can serve up to 40 hours per week; may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend (eligibility is based on income level); will receive pre-service orientation and training from the organization where they serve; and, supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.
Are you ready to join the Foster Grandparent program? If so, use the search tool to find a program near you:
The Senior Companion Program matches volunteers with other adults who have trouble completing day-to-day tasks in their homes. Senior Companions might provide companionship and assistance to a frail older adult, a person with a serious illness, or someone with a disability. Senior Companions can serve up to 40 hours per week; may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend; will receive pre-service orientation and training from the organization where they serve; and, supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.
Does the Senior Companion Program interest you? Look for a nearby program that you can join by using the search box on the