It doesn’t take much time volunteering to pay off big time in Health Benefits
and to know you’re helping our community!

Chairs Corner – SVS News
August 2019
By Tom Clough, Board Chair

“Socialization – Health Benefits from Socializing in Volunteering and Senior Center Activities”

The SVS Success Story – As the number one promoter/recruiter in California of volunteer matching service opportunities, RSVP and CCCV, and through our management of the Paso Robles Senior Center, the recipient of prestigious state and federal awards, SVS programs are successful and generate substantial, important benefits for volunteers and the community.

Socialization – Why Socializing Matters – The need for company, love, and support is not something that diminishes as we grow older. In fact, a healthy social life is particularly important for seniors.

Healthy relationships are necessary at every age, but the importance of socialization for seniors cannot be overemphasized. Consistent social interactions help keep people mentally, physically and emotionally fit and make lives feel more meaningful, more rewarding. Of course, they also fend off the severe difficulties inherent in social isolation; mental health issues, depression, difficulty with health care management, poor nutrition, difficulty managing daily chores, elder abuse and falls.

The Health Benefits of Socialization

Seniors with a fulfilling social life tend to avoid many of the physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties that seniors who are isolated encounter. There are a number of important ways that socialization can improve senior health:

  • Reduced stress. Older adults who are socially active handle stress better.
  • More fitness.Older adults who are socially active are more likely to exercise regularly, which leads to a host of physical, mental and cognitive benefits.
  • Reduced risk of depression. Consistent socialization reduces the likelihood that seniors will experience the depression caused by isolation and loneliness.
  • Greater self-esteem.Socialization helps seniors maintain their self-esteem and sense of worth, especially through volunteering.

A real boost to a senior’s cognitive health. Positive social interactions on a consistent basis help keep seniors stimulated, mentally sharp and intellectually engaged.

Chairs Corner – SVS News
August 2018
By Tom Clough, Board Chair

Exciting News – Our Board has decided to use our resources to actively campaign for and promote Community Awareness of the Health Benefits from Volunteering and serving the community for seniors in our County.

Some Background – As the number one promoter/recruiter of volunteer matching and service opportunities in SLO and northern Santa Barbara counties, our mission is to provide volunteer opportunities to active adults thereby enhancing the health, longevity and quality of life of this rapidly growing segment of our population and to enrich the communities through service. Our well recognized programs, RSVP and our new Program, Central Coast Community Volunteers, age 50+, are successful and generate a substantial, important benefit to the community.

What’s so ImportantKeeping seniors meaningfully engaged in rewarding volunteer assignments reduces the isolation and mental/physical decline often associated with an aging population.  By remaining healthy and active, older volunteers require less medical or other supportive services from already limited community resources. And,

It doesn’t take much time volunteering to pay off big time in Health Benefits and to know you’re helping our community 

Let’ Look at the Facts

Volunteer Mental Health: In one comprehensive Senior Corps Federal Study of RSVP volunteers, nearly half of volunteers (46%) reported improved health and well-being as result of their participation as volunteers.  Almost two-thirds of RSVP volunteers (63%) reported a decreased feeling of isolation, and 67% of those who first reported they “often” lack companionship, reported improved social connections. RSVP volunteers (70%) who initially reported 5 or more symptoms of depression, reported fewer symptoms at the end of the first year of service.

Volunteer Physical Health: In a 2018 study published by Stanford Center on Longevity, the report demonstrated that volunteering over the age of 50 is associated with positive almost dramatic physical changes and reduction in disability rates for just about 2 hours/week. Compared to non-volunteers, individuals who started low intensity volunteering, (2 hours/week) saw their loss of physical function reduced by 34%, and as much as 63% for those who began higher intensity volunteering (2 hours/week). For men, only volunteering at the higher intensity resulted in benefits. For women, both the low and high intensity volunteering resulted in similar high levels of improved physical function.

Why SVS – SVS is uniquely qualified to do this because of our long standing experience and working relationship with community serving organizations, cities and the county. We not only follow trends in senior health issues but are in constant contact with volunteers and organizations about real world service issues facing our service partners.

And that gets me to how you can help – Learn more about the benefits of volunteering in our county. Also, encourage people you know to consider volunteering. It’s easy to get enrolled and very rewarding. Just contact us. Contacts us at www.seniorvolunteers.org, e-mail: Cheryl@seniorvolunteers.org, phone, 805-544-8740

Thank you, Tom Clough – SVS Board Chair

Chairs Corner – SVS News
April 2018
By Tom Clough, Board Chair

Exciting News – Our Board has decided to explore vastly expanding our Mission in SLO North County. At the same time, we have transferred our recruiting services for Northern Santa Barbara to our office in the city of San Luis Obispo.

Some Background – SVS has always been the number one promoter/recruiter of volunteer matching and service opportunities in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. Our well recognized programs, RSVP and our new Program, Central Coast Community Volunteers, age 50+, are successful and generate a substantial, important benefit to the community.

So Why the Change, What’s so Important –

SVS always focuses its staff and financial resources where there is the greatest need, where SVS can really make a difference in volunteer matching services and that’s the reason for focusing on the North County.

As a matter of background, SVS contracts with City of Paso Robles for the management of the Paso Robles Senior Center, (Center). SVS has received requests/inquiries to provide volunteers for senior services, including in-home supportive services. Also, from our discussions with our current SVS service providers in SLO County; we know that there is a need, possibly critical need, for volunteers in the North County.

SVS has existing office space, supporting IT systems at the Center to use to service these critical needs with volunteer recruitment while working closely with service providers to target volunteers that could be part of supportive services. At this time, we believe that focusing on in-home supportive services allows us to be more effective at his stage to utilize our resources and define/start a sustainable program that make a real difference in a senior’s ability to remain in his/her home and maintain their quality of life.

Data/estimates and service provider opinions

The type of North County data/estimates we’re receiving now from service providers in the North County include the current and projected needs and difficulties/obstacles to providing these senior support services, an overview of the current and projected types of services and the number of seniors that need such support services and some estimate/opinion on the number of volunteers that could support such in-home services currently and in the future.

And that gets me to how you can help

SVS is considering forming an advisory council for this program to work with SVS to evaluate and develop a plan including an implementation plan that will provide for the long term viability for this program in North County. Council Members would typically be expert advisors who can advise/support various key aspects of the program. They generally are from a wide range of professions that support critical elements of the program; their common denominator will be their commitment to SVS and this senior program.

Contacts us at www.seniorvolunteers.org, e-mail: Cheryl@seniorvolunteers.org , phone:  805-544-8740

Thank you, Tom Clough, SVS Board Chair