By Sally Grey
The elderly members of our society are most often seen only on the fringes, as people who have ‘outlived their responsibilities’. Many times, it happens because the society itself does not visualize a specific role for the elderly people in the social fabric. Many aged people also start believing that they can no longer contribute meaningfully to their family or the society once they cross a particular age. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Senior citizens help pave the way for the younger generation. Their experience, maturity and wisdom can be invaluable in many situations. In fact, senior citizens should be actively encouraged to participate in the societal activities sharing their wisdom and experience with the younger generation.
As senior citizens, you can also take matters into your own hands. There are many elderly people who actively participate in social causes to keep themselves mentally agile and physically fit. Volunteering at your local church is good way to give back to the society. It helps you grow spiritually and keeps you busy post retirement. Foster grandparent programs are also offered by churches. Here, senior citizens mentor and tutor children from low-income and broken homes. There is nothing better than imparting education to the under-privileged. This contribution of yours to the society is invaluable at more than one level.
You can also actively volunteer for emergency services such as firefighting. For such activities, you may need a basic level of fitness. So try these out only if you feel fully confident about your ability with physical activities.
Using your experience and skills to help others, like neighbors, deal with everyday problems is another great way to put what you have learned throughout your life to good use. For instance, if you are a retired plumber, you can give some practical advice to a neighbor who wants to install a swimming pool. A former banker can offer investment advice to his/her friends or neighbors, while a former insurance agent can give tips on the right insurance products to buy. Alternately, you can work as a consultant or in a part-time capacity and use your experience, skills to assist organizations and other people. You can even earn some money while engaging in this type of consulting, which could be an additional benefit of doing some meaningful work.
Teaching underprivileged children is another wonderful way to make a positive contribution and stay mentally agile. Many elderly people who do this kind of voluntary teaching believe that being in the company of young children makes them feel young at heart once more.
Participation in social activities helps you regain a sense of purpose in your golden years, which is important to stay happy and satisfied in life. It also makes those around you understand just how valuable you still are. When you give back to the society, it holds you in high esteem, which is great for your confidence as well as self image. So go ahead, engage in activities that you enjoy most and make the most of your sunset years.
About the Author: For more information about health and
, check her out on Inside Toronto.