Volunteering is a wonderful way for seniors to support their communities and give back if they are physically and mentally able to do so. Local non-profit organizations are always grateful to have the help of volunteers. If your senior mom can move around fairly well on her own, volunteering has many great benefits for seniors, like socialization, exercise, purpose, and can even extend your life, according to some studies. But how often should your senior mom volunteer?
According to one study, seniors who volunteered for 110 hours or less per year (about two hours a week) gained more benefits from volunteering than those who tried to volunteer for more hours per year. In those who volunteered for 110 hours or less, memory and verbal fluency improved the most over the first six months. Researchers theorized that the reason people who volunteered more did not see as many benefits was because trying to add in more than 110 hours raised stress and anxiety levels.
While the previously mentioned study found that about 100 volunteer hours per year was the perfect amount for seniors, don’t try to limit your senior mom to just that if she feels she needs to do more. Overall, volunteering has been found to boost the mental and physical health of senior adults. So if your senior mom wants to volunteer for more than two hours a week, by all means, she should do it. If you start to notice that she seems worn-out or overworked, then you may want to consider stepping in and suggesting that she drop her volunteer hours down to two or three hours per week.