HEALTH: Make someone happy!

Enjoy the song as you read, Click the lyrics below:
“Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy. And you will be happy too.”
© Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

Make Someone Happy:  VOLUNTEER!
Michael McFarland

If you are 55+ you may remember the song ‘Make Someone Happy,’ best remembered as sung by Jimmy Durante in Sleepless in Seattle. The composers, Adolph Green, Betty Comden and Jule Styne, knew what they were talking about. Research shows that volunteering regularly over time may benefit older adults. Older adults who volunteer enjoy better emotional and physical health and may even live longer.

University studies suggest the risk of dementia diminished by volunteering
An Arizona State University study collected data from more than 13,000 people aged 60 and older between 1998 and 2012. At the beginning of the study and at two-year intervals, the research team asked participants if they’d spent any time in the past 12 months doing volunteer work for religious, educational, health-related, or other charitable organizations.

Numerous areas were considered in the Arizona study: memory, capacity to learn, concentration and decision making. The results indicated that those who volunteered showed a decreased risk of developing cognitive problems by more than 25% compared to non-volunteers.

The study by the University of Calgary corroborates that seniors who volunteer can substantially reduce the development of dementia. The study examined three groups: those who volunteered regularly, sporadic volunteers and those who never volunteered. The results confirmed the hypothesis: volunteering affects cognitive health positively. Interestingly, there was no significant difference between regular and sporadic volunteers. But the non-volunteers displayed the greatest risk.

Two researchers from Toronto, speakers at Pickering’s Aging Well Together Day last September, reinforced that volunteering is good for the mind.

More and more studies are reinforcing the idea that volunteering benefits the mental well being of retirees. Volunteering benefits the volunteer and the recipient of the volunteering activity.

 

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