Ask Joan: Volunteering is healthy for you, your community
October 10, 2023

Volunteers are part of the lifeblood of our organization. We couldn’t do what we do without them, and I feel fortunate our agency benefits from their generosity.

We’re not the only ones who benefit from their hard work. The people we serve in our communities certainly do, and the volunteers themselves get much satisfaction from their efforts.

Joan Hatem-Roy, CEO of AgeSpan

The benefits of volunteering are many, according to a recent article from the Mayo Clinic

1. It boosts physical and mental health

People who volunteer report better physical health than their peers who don’t volunteer and this act of service lowers rates of depression and anxiety, especially for those 65 and older. Studies show volunteering decreases stress and boosts positive, relaxed feelings. Volunteers report experiencing a deeper meaning and appreciation of life. In addition, this stress-busting activity cuts the risk of heart disease, stroke, and depression. One study of aging found that, over time, volunteers have lower death rates than those who do not volunteer, even when considering factors such as age, gender, and overall physical health.

2. It gives a sense of purpose and teaches useful skills

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose, especially when people volunteer for an organization they find personally meaningful. You may use skills you developed during your career or pick up new knowledge about the latest technology, communications, or business practices.

3. It nurtures new and existing relationships

Participating in a shared activity is one of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen your existing relationships. Volunteering helps you practice your social skills with others. On a volunteer job, you don’t need to break the ice to get to know your colleagues because you immediately become part of a team, working toward a common goal.

To add to our roster of active volunteers, we are hosting a virtual volunteer recruiting event on October 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. We are interviewing for all volunteer positions, but we’re especially looking for people to help with our nutrition, ombudsman, money management, and mobile market programs.

Sign up for a 15-minute appointment at

Our volunteers work across our service area providing critical support to older adults, their family members, and our employees. If you’d like to volunteer or learn more about the program, contact Katrina Waugh, volunteer and intern program manager, at or 978-651-3114.

Are you caring for an older adult or need help locating healthy aging resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at for more information. You can also call us at 800-892-0890 or email Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of AgeSpan.

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