Volunteerism at Dallas Retirement Village . . . Residents touching the lives of others and reaping personal benefits in return.
As we approach the year-ending season of giving thanks and gratitude, it’s fitting we recognize neighbors and friends of Dallas Retirement Village, who can be counted among the more than 25% of seniors 55+ who annually contribute more than three billion hours of service in their communities according to data collected by AmeriCorps.
The core intention of resident volunteers like Grace Scatterday, Kaye Brand, and LeRoy Rempel is to provide a helping hand—and they’re making an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. But there’s another side to this coin. Grace, Kaye, and LeRoy have shared that they personally benefit from their giving spirit with increased feelings of positivity, trust in others, and social interaction. Researchers have measured such benefits in seniors and call it the helper’s high. Here are personal stories of volunteerism from Grace, Kaye, and LeRoy and how they’re supporting the home they love while strengthening the bonds of community within Dallas Retirement Village.
For titles and tales, residents ask Grace. A Dallas Retirement Village resident since December 2016, Grace Scatterday quickly found her niche between the stacks and pages of our community library. “I prepare new books for check-out, mend those that need it and, of course, accept donations for our library,” she says. “Over the years, my volunteering at libraries, hospitals, and with in-home child care has given me a real appreciation of new friendships, sharing ideas with others, and just plain listening.”
Kaye has bottles and cans under control. The Dallas Retirement Foundation is the welcome recipient of monetary deposits from cans and bottles gathered and transported to the proper collection site by Kaye Brand, a Dallas Retirement Village resident for the past three years. “It’s a small but necessary role,” says Kaye, who also contributes his time with other residents for the wooden toy-building project in the community’s Hobby Center. The toys are donated to the Dallas area ‘Adopt a Family’ program just before the holidays. “It’s so satisfying for me to donate my time to these projects,” says Kaye.
Santa’s Toy Shop: Open for Business—thanks to LeRoy and other elves.
LeRoy Rempel’s volunteering began on October 03, 2012—the day he moved to Dallas Retirement Village. He began by driving The Dart (resident transportation), built signage and menu holders for The Timber Grille, and helped rebuild the community’s circular flower bed. “I really enjoy helping my neighbors with little fix-it items—you know, the ones that don’t require work orders,” LeRoy shares. But the coming holiday season is LeRoy’s favorite for putting his talents to work through volunteering.
“Russ Thomman and I had the privilege of setting up the first Hobby Center at Dallas Retirement Village,” says LeRoy with pride. The Hobby Center is home to the wooden “Toy Truck Team,” as LeRoy calls it. “Over the years, I helped train other residents to use the center. Now we have quite a nice shop filled with high-quality tools and numerous “resident elves,” who make toy cars and trucks for children this holiday season.”
You, too, can benefit from a Helper’s High
Unselfishly giving of time, talent, and treasure is the way many residents, friends and neighbors of Dallas Retirement Village express gratitude for the active senior lifestyle they’re enjoying. We’re grateful for Grace, Kaye, and LeRoy—and other active volunteers—in our community and would love to have you join us. It truly does take a Village! Interested in volunteering? Check out the many Volunteer Opportunities listed on our website.
The following are proven benefits you could be experiencing as a volunteer.
6 Desirable Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors:
- Decreases the risk of depression. Giving one’s time to others increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests. Both have been shown to decrease depression.
- Promotes a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills. Volunteers for select health care entities and service organizations perform critical roles assisting clients, patients, families, and staff. And they learn while doing, as well. Many serve as greeters who provide information and directions, as transporters for patients and their belongings, and as waiting room attendants. They make prayer shawls, blankets, sweaters, and hats typically given to newborn babies and cancer patients. They provide essential operational services that include working in the hospital gift shop and performing clerical duties for staff. These all give volunteers a sense of purpose.
- Encourages greater physical and mental activity. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time, providing great benefits to physical and mental health. Studies have found that, in general, volunteers report better physical health than non-volunteers do. Older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result.
- Potentially reduces stress levels. Volunteering may enhance a person’s social network to buffer stress and reduce the risk of disease. By savoring time spent in service to others, one feels a sense of meaning and appreciation, both given and received, which can have a stress-reducing effect.
- May support longevity. An analysis of CDC data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging found that individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not. In addition, several studies have shown that volunteers with chronic or serious illnesses experience a decline in pain intensity and depression when serving as peer volunteers for others also suffering from chronic pain.
- Fosters socialization and new relationship development. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to participate in a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people who share common interests. Dedicating time as a volunteer also helps expand your network and practice social skills with others.
Dallas Retirement Foundation: Serving the Needs of Area Seniors
If volunteering like Grace, Kaye, and LeRoy is not a feasible option for your lifestyle, the Dallas Retirement Foundation might meet your need for giving. The Foundation was established to foster philanthropic giving in support of Dallas Retirement Village’s Christian mission to serve the housing and health services needs of area seniors.
In the past, donor support through the Foundation has made a significant difference in strengthening the surrounding Dallas community for all who live here. We invite you to download the Dallas Retirement Foundation brochure to learn more and to review specific funds and options for giving. Many have been designed to meet your philanthropic goals and provide tax savings to you, your estate, and your beneficiaries.
Continue the Conversation . . .
Dallas Retirement Village is a uniquely uplifting community where active older adults enjoy vibrant living, rewarding opportunities, exceptional hospitality, and great friendships, while a holistic approach supports their life enrichment through 8 Dimensions of Wellness. There’s so much more to show you and talk about! Call 503-623-1747 or contact us online to schedule a private tour of Dallas Retirement Village and get a peek at our new construction—The Lodge Residences/Phase 2.