Stretching Helps Ease
Time to Volunteer for Your Health
May is Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is “Age Out Loud.” “So what does that mean?” said Susan Taylor, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Human Science Specialist, Family Life, Dubuque County.
This year’s theme has four core areas: Know your rights; Stay engaged; Strive for wellness; and Explore new things.
I found highlighted was Volunteering. People each year give their time without any expectations of compensation. The older adult gives of their heart to whomever they are working with. Have you done some volunteer work this month? In a research study, found that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities. The study found that about 2 hours per week given volunteering: exhibited positive health outcomes.
The Baby Boomers, which I am one, is 77 million Americans born between 1946–1964 all are approaching retirement.
Volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that protect individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust. Two years ago, I worked with a group from the Foster Grandparents here in Dubuque. They all knew each other but did not converse with each other. I worked with the group in a study circle activity meeting 4 times that highlighted what they liked about themselves, Dubuque and what were their needs as they aged in Dubuque. They all spoke highly of their work with children in the community.
Does Age Matter? It was found that older individuals who volunteer demonstrate greater health benefits than do younger volunteer activities by older individuals are more likely to provide them with a purposeful social role. – Those who engage in volunteer activities are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life and introduced into a positive reinforcing cycle of good health and future volunteering. One study found people who volunteered; they are more likely to live longer.
Consider staying engaged and striving for wellness
and exploring new things as a volunteer. The community provides many areas where you can volunteer: – R.S.V.P., Master Gardeners, churches, hospitals, youth groups, Circles Initiative, and the list goes on. Look into a volunteering opportunity – it may cause you to live longer. Celebrate Older American’s Month – Age Out Loud!
• “Add dryer sheets to storage totes along with clothes and shoes.” — M.W. in Iowa
• “Try soaking an ink stain in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes before putting the garment in the wash.” — B.D. in Virginia
• A.H. from Texas writes: “If you do a lot of bead work or have children who collect rocks, save your old pill bottles with the labels peeled off to put beads/rocks/findings into. The pill bottles are clear enough to see what’s inside, and it saves money on pricey, specifically designed containers.”
• “When your container of cornstarch is empty, take a dry cloth and wipe it out. Now you can use these canisters for your children’s crayons. When there’s a group of children, everyone can have their own crayons. You also can use these canisters for erasers, pins, buttons, beads, etc.” — D. in Virginia
• “I do dishes the old-fashioned way: in the dishpan in the sink. I put a second dishpan in the other sink and rinse the dishes over it to catch the water. I then use it to flush the toilet. I can flush at least three times a day with the rinse water. Washing your produce also takes a lot of water that you can catch in the dishpan and use for watering outdoor plants.” — C.S.R. in Florida
• “Instead of using candles during a power failure, most hardware stores and home-improvement centers sell battery-powered lanterns for $16 to $20, and some last for days.” — J.P. in New Jersey
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Turn Around Don’t Drown®
Every year we hear the same instructions – “Turn Around Don’t Drown®”! Yet every year people don’t heed the advice. According to the National Weather Service, 66% of flood fatality victims in 2014 were in motor vehicles. If you think it’s kids or the ‘younger generation’ consider the following. The group with the highest number of flood fatalities is from 50 to 69 years of age.
What makes it so hazardous and why don’t people heed the warning?
Flooding caused by snow melt or heavy rain can cause problems whether you are walking or driving in a flood susceptible area.
When traveling should you find your route blocked by barricades, find another route. Barricades are put up by state or local officials to protect travelers from unsafe roads. Driving a few extra miles costs you extra fuel and time, which is much cheaper than losing your vehicle or your life in flood waters.
Your best defense is to prepare and plan ahead. Do you need groceries or medications? Does your car need fuel? When severe weather is forecast listen to your radio, TV or National Weather Service radio for up to date information. You may also wish to have your vehicle packed as you would for winter weather. Also, plan your route avoiding those problem areas mentioned above.
Iowa has seen record flooding in the past. Will this be another that goes on the record books? Time will tell. Let’s hope this is a year that goes in the record books for what did NOT happen.
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