Skip to content

SENIORS: Survey shows seniors make a difference by volunteering

Canadian seniors are making a difference in their communities by volunteering.

Canadian seniors are making a difference in their communities by volunteering.

According to a national study conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network, 47% of seniors volunteer their time through unpaid community service, and they donate an average of 16.5 hours per month.

The Home Instead Senior Care network interviewed 400 senior volunteers to measure their impact on the local community and to better understand what motivated them to volunteer. The telephone interviews were conducted with seniors age 65 and older who volunteer their time through unpaid community service.

Here are some of the research findings:

One in six senior volunteers said they started volunteering at the age of 65 or older.

Nearly half of those who responded said they are busier now than when they were working.

The seniors' most common activities are hands-on projects and general labour, visiting people and providing companionship, fundraising and preparing, collecting or distributing food.

According to the survey, 86% of senior volunteers who suffer from chronic health conditions say that staying active through volunteering helps them manage their health problems. Indeed, 93% of those who responded to the survey said that seniors who volunteer are healthier and happier than seniors who don't volunteer.

"There is an important link between healthy aging and volunteering," Jean-Guy Soulière, chair of the National Seniors Council, said in a press release. "Seniors volunteer more than any other age group. You just can't put a dollar figure on how much seniors who volunteer contribute to the country. But I can tell you that a lot of organizations would die if not for those volunteers."

Seniors are also the recipients of volunteer services, as many of them rely on volunteer programs and services for assistance and support.