Have you thought of including a give to seniors in your weekly giving? Anyone can make an effort to focus their people gives on our older persons population. As a community group that gives you are in a position to positively impact a large group of seniors, elders and older persons through some pretty fabulous gives! When we combine an increasing seniors population worldwide, at 10%, and in North America we are reaching 22%, including seniors in our daily giving practice ensures we are including a large part of our population. After the pandemic our senior populations do need a bit more nurturing and attention. If you are still experiencing high levels of the virus in your community, giving to our seniors seems even more important as they are the most at risk population.
We all need a boost after the last 18 months, and our seniors need to be included. We know that giving makes us happier, and studies conducted by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University reveals a growing amount of scientific evidence that indicates kindness holds the power to heal and positively impact well-being. So why don’t we give in as community groups and look to our seniors for our people gives!
Before I dive into some giving ideas for seniors I just want to share what I do for seniors in my life. These gives have continued since we have opened up again after the surge of covid, and will continue even when we one day might be freer in our activities.
There is one senior who has lived his life walking both in cityscapes and on nature walks. He has found it hard to find nature walks that keep him physically distanced due to the surge in popularity of outdoor activities. In the summer and fall months I researched obscure walking trails in my area and met up with my friend for an hour walk and outdoor picnic. Our time together was always magical and both of us felt great. Being outdoors was wonderful, but finding new walking paths close to home that others were unfamiliar with let us experience our walks without having to worry about social distancing. It was a give both of us loved and continue to enjoy!
My second senior lives alone and though has a wide social network, we have created a breakfast bond that we both love. Once a week we have breakfast together virtually and share information, political views and shared travel history that is so much fun! We were going to have breakfast anyway so why not share it together for 45 minutes and share important views on current events. This for sure will continue to be a virtual give with a good friend! Her stories and sharing of life history has been invaluable!
So lets dig into how your community group can have an impact on the life of seniors by giving. Just to recap, giving to anyone increases they happiness by activating their happiness hormones and decreasing cortisol. Research shows again and again that giving is a great way to increase happiness and has a positive effect on our well being.
Check out these senior focused giving ideas and try to implement a few in your gives. These gives can be done with seniors living in a residential setting or those who live alone. You decide that best way to activate these gives as a community group. What you will find is your seniors will feel valued, seen, heard and appreciated – powerful positive effects for sure!
You can gather a group of independent seniors through Zoom or host an online course at a seniors living facility. Who doesnt love to learn a new skill or share a skill with others. I have seen yoga classes, stretching classes, cooking classes and book clubs shared online with seniors. If this is done regularly, you just might find that your seniors could host a class as well and share a skill they have. How great is that!
Why not get others involved in your giving so they can also feel the effects of giving. If you are going for a nature walk to pick up garbage, or painting positive messages on rocks or signs to put around your community, or having a clothing drive, why not ask your seniors to join in!
For seniors who are not comfortable with technology, start a pen pal group where you exchange posted letters with seniors. This is a great way to share stories, life histories and feelings about current events. This interaction shares perspectives that can enrich both of your lives!
Social distancing is still important but if you can find a way to share an outdoor experience, or book a visit to a museum or art gallery, go for it. Gauge your pandemic levels for safety and get everyone to wear their mask to stay safe. Seeing something new with others as a daily give will have great benefits for our happiness and well being.
Everyone has a story to tell and I have to admit, any senior I know has a wealth of information to share. Whether it be stories about their work, recipes they loved, hardships, feminism, or travels, these stories always have lessons we can learn from. I think this is my favorite give to the seniors I know. Their stories are important and I love the historical perspective that I can learn from.
People gives are great, and giving to seniors a rewarding experience. When outlining your people gives, remember our seniors. We are all important and can benefit from a little bit of giving!
Find other community giving ideas on our 365give blog that is sure to inspire daily giving to keep ourselves and others happy!