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seniors playing webAs we age, daily cooking, cleaning, and upkeep requirements can create a lackluster lifestyle. Making a move to an independent living community may sound scary, but it can become a liberating experience. Aside from the benefits of downsizing, there are many positive reasons to reside in a senior retirement community, including improved socialization, increased safety, and personal enhancement opportunities, such as finding new hobbies or taking new educational classes.

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HikerStanding webIn many circles, we are often asked, “What’s your favorite verse?” or “What is your life verse?” In the biblical candy store of over 31,000 verses, it is hard to choose a favorite. Like the writer of Psalm 119, I love all the verses; they are all inspired and good. Besides, different verses ping in my heart at different times and under different circumstances. In choosing favorite verses, there is the unlikely but possible danger of devaluing the other verses.

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Part one 01 webEditor’s Note: I met Mark Zimmerman, the author’s son, who told me of a short biography that his dad, Robert, wrote with the help of Mark’s sister, Gloria. Gloria and Mark have graciously agreed to allow us to print excerpts from his book in his memory. This is the first installment. I hope that you will enjoy this looking back in time.

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Lifestyles over 50 TV - Home

LVAIP Senior Expo Heather Glen Senior Living Artis Memory Care Meals on Wheels Stimulating Dementia Patients in Rehab Hearing Loss Explained Woodworker's Fair at Bailey Wood Products The Wood Shop America on Wheels Medicare Options LO50 Team Aging in Place of Lehigh Valley

RSVP (formerly known as RSVP of Montgomery County) can help. The nonprofit has been placing volunteers in our communities for 42 years. Currently, 1,200 volunteers dedicate countless hours to causes they know they can have an impact upon. This past year alone, 7,500 children, adults and the elderly benefited from volunteer efforts, dramatically improving their circumstances and lives.

RSVP Executive Director Michele Moll describes numerous ways the public can engage in volunteering. “We offer varied programs allowing volunteers to check in by phone with a homebound senior or utilize their managerial skills to help nonprofits with capacity building. Several literacy programs assist youth and veterans in classrooms (or virtually) by improving their reading and math comprehension skills, and an adult literacy program helps foreign-born citizens to become literate in English. A mentoring program enables volunteers to have a profound impact on the life of an at-risk youth and a Medicare counseling program helps to inform and advise seniors about their best health coverage choices. Corporate employees can unite to become a force for good and volunteers can connect directly with other nonprofits throughout the Delaware Valley.”

Volunteer information sessions are held frequently throughout Montgomery and Delaware counties and allow volunteers to learn about RSVP, meet with staff and explore hundreds of exciting roles to find just the right match. A full listing of upcoming dates and sites can be found on www.rsvpmc.org.

“A grateful smile from a child or a senior can be the greatest feeling in the world,” relays Moll. Once you start volunteering, you’ll soon realize just how much you are truly needed. Feeling appreciated and valued are real boosters for self-confidence, mental stimulation and life satisfaction. Doing something enjoyable can be energizing. It can renew creativity and reveal a vision for something bigger than this moment that can recharge your personal and professional life. Imagine the possibilities!

A survey conducted by UnitedHealth Group, a group dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives, found that 96 percent of aging adults reported that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life and 78 percent said that volunteering lowered their stress levels. Moll highlights some stories from this past year on how volunteers have impacted lives.

“A volunteer was assigned to help an elderly woman with food shopping. The client was extremely wary of accepting any help but was in desperate need of food. The volunteer was able to form a bond immediately, alleviating some of the client’s apprehension. They formed a trusting relationship that later enabled the volunteer to accompany the client to a doctor appointment she had been hesitant to schedule. While waiting in the office, the client had a severe anxiety attack and was sent to a local ER for treatment. The volunteer waited by her side for eight hours to make sure the client arrived home safely.”

Needs are ever present in our communities. RSVP is a great resource for learning how you can generate health and gratitude by helping others. Volunteer information sessions are regularly scheduled and conveniently located. To learn more visit www.rsvpmc.org.

Expert Contributors

Jill expert

 

Senior Move Manager & Stager

Jill Kearney, Senior Moves By Design

 

bob expert

 

Senior Placement Advisor

Bob Hollinger, Oasis Senior Advisors

 

Arteditor 

Lifestyles over 50 Editor

Art Villafane, Thrive Media
  

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