Author: Carmel Ferrer

Volunteering with AARP Foundation - Meal Pack Challenge - Memphis, TN

Here’s a pop quiz: What’s a great way to prevent isolation while also contributing to your community? If you said, you’re right. Volunteering has physical and mental health benefits. It also increases social connections, boosts self-confidence, reduces stress levels and decreases the risk of depression. In helping others, we help ourselves.

There’s no shortage of opinions these days about social networks and the decline of in-person social connections. Headlines like “Is Technology Making People Less Sociable?” and “Is the Internet Bad for Society and Relationships?” point to the internet, and technology in general, as a contributing cause of this downturn.

Can something as simple as singing in a community choir really affect the well-being of older adults? A growing body of research shows it can.

Twenty years ago, former first lady Rosalynn Carter gave a speech in which she said, “There are only four kinds of people in this world: Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” She was right: We all give and receive care at varying times in our lives. We all occasionally need to lean on a loved one. And we all need to recognize that we can’t serve others unless we first care for ourselves.