5 Reasons Retirees Should Volunteer Their Time

At The Cypress of Charlotte, our residents stay incredibly busy. With the ample availability of stimulating activities — including trips, lectures, fitness pursuits, hobbies, classes and more — you’d think they wouldn’t have time for anything else. But many of our residents also recognize the advantages of making room in their packed calendars for one very important activity: volunteering.

Research has found many benefits of volunteering, both for senior volunteers and for the recipients of their kindness. When you choose to volunteer, you benefit physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. Let’s take a look at the top five reasons you should consider volunteering your time.

  1. It May Boost Your Mental Health

Volunteering may reduce the risk of a number of health problems — including dementia — in seniors, research has found. In addition, it can positively affect your sense of well-being through greater satisfaction in life, better resistance to stress, and a sense of accomplishment and meaning. By fostering regular interaction with others, volunteering also can reduce the risk of depression.

  1. It Supports Your Physical Health

Participating in volunteer pursuits is a great way to stay active, which can reduce the risk of injuries and many chronic diseases. Some types of volunteer activities, such as cleaning up and beautifying parks and other natural areas, can really get your blood pumping. But even if a chronic health problem or disability prevents you from taking part in highly active forms of volunteerism, you can still reap the benefits. Many organizations need help with projects you can do by phone or from your computer. And research has shown that such activities may help improve many health conditions — including vision and hearing loss, diabetes and heart disease.

  1. It Gets You Involved in the Greater Community

When you volunteer, you gain the opportunity to get to know people of all ages and from all walks of life. Your volunteer efforts also help change society’s mindset about what older adults are capable of doing — whatever they want, in our opinion! In your life, you’ve developed significant talent, knowledge and skills. Your community needs your expertise.

  1. It Fosters Relationships

You can never have too many friends, and you’ll most certainly make more when you volunteer. By volunteering, you get to connect with kindred spirits who enjoy the same types of activities that you do. You might meet your new best friend or even your soul mate through your volunteer activities.

  1. It Helps You Maintain Your Zest for Life

By volunteering, you’ll continue to build the self-confidence you need to maintain your joie de vivre — your passion for and enjoyment of life. You’ll take your mind off any personal worries as you focus on helping others. And you’ll rightly feel pride in your accomplishments and in the fact that you’ve helped make the world a better place.

Finding the Right Volunteer Opportunity

If volunteering sounds right up your alley, the next step is finding a great fit for your talents and interests. As you’re evaluating Charlotte independent living communities, consider the many volunteer opportunities available to residents through The Cypress’s full-time Activities Coordinator. To learn more, please contact us.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Gardening


For many hobbyists, gardening provides a way of reconnecting to a simpler time and enjoying the great outdoors. But research has shown that gardening also offers some real health benefits for seniors. At The Cypress of Charlotte, we’re huge believers in the power of gardening to heal body, mind and spirit. The evidence backs us up!

Higher Satisfaction with Life

A study from Texas A&M and Texas State universities looked at satisfaction with life among seniors who garden versus those who don’t. Researchers found that older adults who engaged in gardening showed much higher rates of satisfaction with their lives.

In fact, 84 percent of gardeners noted that they had made plans for activities to occur a month or a year later. Of the non-gardeners, only 68 percent had made such plans. In addition, gardeners reported having higher energy levels than those who don’t engage in gardening.

Boosting Physical Activity

We can attest that seniors who participate in gardening get more physical activity each day compared to seniors who aren’t into gardening. We see it here at The Cypress on a daily basis — especially in the spring, summer and fall, when our raised bed garden is in full bloom. After evaluating Charlotte senior living communities, seniors who love gardening choose The Cypress, which provides all the planting resources residents need to grow flowers or delicious vegetables.

Cypress raised garden

Researchers report that seniors who garden report a significantly higher amount of physical exercise each day. In one study, more than three times as many non-gardeners as gardeners classified themselves as “quite inactive.” At the same time, nearly twice as many gardeners viewed themselves as “very active.”

More than three-quarters of the gardeners surveyed said their health was “excellent” or “very good,” and they reported consuming more fruits and vegetables as the result of their gardening hobby. At The Cypress, our gardeners certainly enjoy the bounty of their efforts and share them with others.

Fighting Dementia

The increased physical activity that’s strongly associated with gardening also may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, some research has found. In two studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s over a number of years, researchers found that subjects who participated in gardening on a regular basis had a risk of dementia up to 47-percent lower than in subjects who didn’t garden. The numbers held even when other health factors were considered, researchers reported.

The findings suggest that, taken together, the physical and mental efforts involved in gardening might positively influence mind health. For seniors who are already seeing declines in cognition, even walking in a garden may provide therapeutic benefits. For everyone, spending time in a garden — with its enticing fragrances and feasts for the eyes — can help lower stress and encourage relaxation.

If you’re looking for senior living communities in Charlotte, NC, where you’ll be able to show off your green thumb, consider a visit to The Cypress of Charlotte! To schedule a tour or for more information, please contact us.

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