6 Types of Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors in Canada

senior volunteers

After retirement, many older adults engage in various activities to help them stay sharp and active, including exercising, traveling around the world, volunteering, reading books, taking free online courses, etc.

Volunteering is a great way for older adults to remain active, social, and involved in the community, among several other benefits. They see it as an avenue to offer their time, presence, and attention for the welfare of others. So, it’s no surprise that older people make up a large percentage of volunteers in society.

At Seasons Retirement Communities, we encourage older adults to connect to the community and realize the benefits of volunteering. Launched in 2018, the Seasons SENIOROSITY® program  is designed to provide opportunities for residents to connect with their neighbours and others in the community while finding meaning through spreading joy! These resident-directed activities include surprising hospital workers with baked treats, sponsoring a family in need, or donating toys and other supplies to a local animal shelter.

In this post, we will explore 6 amazing types of volunteer opportunities for seniors in Canada.

What Are the Volunteer Opportunities for Older Adults?

Life after retirement can be more fun and fulfilling through participation in volunteer opportunities. Older adults can meet new people and build meaningful relationships by volunteering.

Some activities are best suited to certain senior volunteers because of their interest, passion, and wealth of expertise in the area. If such people join their preferred volunteer program, you can be sure they’ll deliver the best results.

As an older adult, if you’re still wondering what senior volunteer programs you can take advantage of, we have some volunteering ideas for adults to guide you in your decision-making. Read on.

1.    Political campaigns

Assisting a politician involves participating in campaigns, calling voters, walking from door to door, circulating petitions, or controlling rallies for or against a particular topic. Regardless of how an older adult views politics, they should have an interest in at least one of these.

The aforementioned activities involve walking, a form of exercise, that can help older adults stay physically fit and improve their overall well-being. Engaging in campaigns also helps older people interact with others and stay involved with the community, improving their social lives.

2.    Help in Animal Shelters and Humane Societies

Humane societies and animal shelters are always on the lookout for volunteers to help in providing care and support for animals, rescuing pets from fires and floods, carrying out administrative procedures, and managing fundraisers.

Older adults who love animals can step forward to act as foster parents for a homeless cat, rabbit, or dog until the shelter finds a permanent placement for them. Volunteering to care for a pet can also be a furry fix for retirees who don’t want the total commitment of supporting a pet of their own.

Also, pet lovers can certify their pets through a pet therapy training program, so they’ll be allowed to visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

Like most non-profit organizations, animal shelters also require the services of graphic designers, content and grant writers, and legal advocates to create awareness about animal protection issues.

3.    Work with Children

Older adults, who are far away from their grandchildren and or waiting for their children to give birth, may especially benefit from and enjoy volunteering with children.

Seniors for Kids Society allows volunteers to serve as classroom grandparents. After consultations with the teacher, senior volunteers are permitted to engage in certain classroom activities to help in the academic and social integration of students. They act as role models who are given private time with a student to work on any project of their choosing.

Several churches and houses of faith also allow foster grandparent programs. Children’s hospitals may also require volunteers to help with activities like reading stories, tutoring patients, monitoring playrooms, and aiding families with everything they need during their child’s stay.

4.     Become a Tour Guide

Becoming a tour guide is one of the best volunteer opportunities for seniors who love touring and exploring places. To be effective as a docent, it’s essential for participants to be knowledgeable on a few things about tourist attractions, have a passion for inspiring people, and be confident in communicating with strangers.

Zoos, museums, universities, and other private and public organizations provide docent programs to train volunteers to manage tours and educate visitors. Several historical sites and botanical gardens also sign up senior volunteers for tour guides; they may even learn on the job.

5.    Use your Trade Skills to Help those in Need

Apart from professional skills acquired throughout an older person’s career, they may also have trade skills, which can be helpful to other people in society. Such skills include welding, handyman, carpentry, and electrical work, and they’re always in demand in senior volunteer programs.

Individuals with these skills can take advantage of them to help the needy and create a sense of fulfillment at the same time.

Habitat for Humanity highlights some volunteering opportunities that need skilled trades. If you’re good at fixing faulty electrical devices, can paint with a brush or are adept at using a hammer, they need you. This organization collaborates with learning institutions, businesses, and volunteer groups to provide construction services to build homes in poor communities.

6.    Work with the Canadian Red Cross

The red cross involves more than donating blood or rendering first aid treatment to patients in an accident. Several other volunteer opportunities are available at the Canadian Red Cross, including Emergency and Disaster Management, Client Services, Community Connector, Technicians, and so on.

By joining any of these senior volunteer programs, older adults are helping the world become a better place. One doesn’t have to participate in technical tasks, as they can engage in simple activities like distributing pamphlets, welcoming guests, and spreading information about the organization.

Participants can also offer technical skills such as various administrative tasks, graphics designing, content writing, and web development.

Final Words

It’s powerful when people come together in hopes of making a difference. Seasons is pleased to have donated so significantly to local communities and is proud of the charitable efforts of our team members, residents and their families.

This piece shows that there are several volunteer opportunities for seniors, and one can choose one that aligns with their passion, skills, and career experience. By volunteering, older adults can learn new things, help their community, lead an active lifestyle, and gain a sense of fulfillment.

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