The benefits of volunteering for seniors

Volunteering is a powerful way to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of communities all over the world. However, not only does it make a difference in the lives of recipients, it also benefits volunteers mentally, socially and even physically.

According to a report by the National Seniors Council of Canada, Canadian seniors make up some of the country's most active and engaged volunteers*, playing a critical role in strengthening their local communities. For seniors, volunteering promotes active aging, which can actually enhance quality of life in one's later years. Therefore, this research shows that volunteering has the ability to enhance the overall well-being of seniors.

Here are some of the ways older adults can benefit from volunteering.

"Volunteering can enhance the overall well-being of seniors."

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose
According to Helpguide, older adults can find new meaning in their lives by volunteering*, especially after they have retired. Helping others can take one's mind off of their own worries and contribute to positive mental health. Seniors who are interested in finding a new sense of meaning in life should consider volunteering their time to local charities.

Volunteering can increase socialization
Volunteering is a great way to make new friendships within a community as well as strengthen existing relationships. Seniors who are new to an area or have just moved into a new retirement living residence should consider volunteering. It's an excellent occasion for individuals to break out of their shells and explore new social opportunities.

Volunteering promotes physical health
For seniors, The Public Health Agency of Canada says an active lifestyle can promote independence and improve one's health*. Volunteering can involve many different forms of physical activity, such as an environmental project in the park or a fundraiser at a fitness center. Staying active helps the human body at any age, but is especially beneficial for seniors.

Volunteering can help fight depression
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, withdrawal from social activities can lead to isolation*, which can eventually result in depression for seniors. By volunteering, seniors can stay in contact with their peers and develop stable friendships which can combat any feelings of loneliness or a negative mindset.

Chartwell Retirement Residences believes it's crucial for seniors to stay active and involved in their communities as they age. In fact, their popular H.O.P.E. (Helping Others for Purposeful Engagement) program encourages residents to explore personal interests and goals through meaningful activities and charitable initiatives, which can in turn promote a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. Whether residents choose to give back locally or globally, they can make a difference by creating lasting community connections!

To learn more about Chartwell's H.O.P.E. program, click here.

*The following sources provide references for this blog, in order of appearance:

  1. Senior Council. "Volunteering", Online:
  2. HelpGuide. "Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits" (2022), Online:
  3. Government of Canada. "Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older)" (2019), Online:
  4. Government of Canada. "Chapter 3: The Chief Public Health Officer's Report on The State of Public Health in Canada 2010 – The health and well-being of Canadian seniors"(2010), Online: