Senior Volunteers Giving More Than Time, Home Instead Senior Care Survey Reveals
Omaha, NE (PRWEB) March 13, 2012
Volunteering for the local hospice was a logical fit for Sandra Campbell of North Jackson, Ohio, when she retired from her career as an oncology nurse. So, too, was the hands-on support that she has provided hospice patients in her area for the past five years.
But Campbell, now 71, doesn’t stop there. She makes and donates quilts to the Oncology Fund for Outpatients to raise money to help cover the extra costs of cancer patients. “I love making things for the oncology care fund that donates to patients for gas and groceries. I have donated a lot to them.”
Campbell is one of many senior volunteers willing to put her money and resources where her heart is. According to research conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care® network, a majority of senior volunteers donate financially to the organizations where they volunteer.
And the help couldn’t come at a better time. In a survey released in July 2009 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, one of every three organizations reported increasing its reliance on volunteers to cope with the economic downturn between September 2008 and March 2009.
The survey – Volunteers and the Economic Downturn – revealed that 80 percent of responding organizations experienced some level of fiscal stress between September 2008 and March 2009. Nearly 40 percent of those organizations said the stress was severe or very severe.
“If anything, the recession has pointed to the increased need for volunteer support,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, director of Senior Corps whose organization is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
“As unemployment rates have escalated, and the economy weakened, there are more people in need,” noted Tan, who serves as the expert U.S. source for the Salute to Senior Service(SM) program. “One might logically think that this means fewer people will be able to volunteer. We haven’t found this to be true. Even during a recession, people seem to inherently understand that there’s always someone in greater need than themselves. So, while they might give less money, they are still willing to give of their time,” he said.
The most recent data from the Corporation for National and Community Service indicates that one of four Americans 55 and older – that’s 18.7 million people – makes a positive impact on their local communities through volunteering. Between 2008 and 2010, these adults contributed more than 3 billion hours of service per year in their communities. The economic benefit of their service to communities totaled more than $64 billion.
“The biggest motivation for volunteering, particularly for seniors, is to make a difference,” Tan said. “And it’s easier to make a difference when seniors know so many are in need, including their own neighbors. Research tells us that, even in good times, people of modest financial means often give more than people with greater wealth. This is especially true when they are already committed to a cause.”
Nominations for outstanding senior volunteers will be accepted through March 15, 2012, and state winners along with a national winner will be honored in May 2012 during Older Americans Month. Interested seniors can learn more about where to volunteer and how to volunteer for a worthy cause at the Salute to Senior Service website.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education(SM) Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.