Retired, but how to shift gears?

Many older adults have ideas about doing more volunteering once they retire, but not necessarily anything specific. We at the Office for the Aging can help you explore your options. We spend considerable time recruiting the recently retired to join us in our mission of helping Dutchess County’s older adults continue to live safely and independently.

We want to help you clarify your ideas about what you’d like to do as a volunteer.

Maybe you’ve looked around your community and said to yourself, “Somebody really ought to do something about….” Now you have the chance to complete that sentence; although, with your retirement, that sentence changes somewhat, to “I really ought to do something about...”

If figuring out the end of that sentence has you stumped a bit, get in touch with OFA.

Ask yourself whether you’re looking to share the skills you acquired during your career, or whether you’re looking to volunteer in a field that’s new to you. For example, we have long-serving volunteers in our Health Insurance, Information and Community Assistance Program (HIICAP) who have extensive experience in insurance and health care, and others who started with little direct experience; but all of them take advantage of our regularly updated trainings for HIICAP counselors.

If drives in the countryside suit you, OFA has opportunities for volunteer drivers in our Home Delivered Meals program. Areas of immediate need for drivers include the Wappinger/East Fishkill area along with much of rural Dutchess County, but we’ll be glad to hear from you if you can drive elsewhere in the county.

If being outdoors and staying active is a goal, there are still several Office for the Aging Picnics left on this year’s schedule. Check out www.dutchessny.gov/OFApicnics, where we keep the schedule, a map to each picnic location, and pictures of past picnics. You’ll have fun helping seniors enjoy a special day with their friends and neighbors.

We also have volunteer leaders in our Senior Exercise program who have been active all their lives, and others who came to lead exercise programs after a more sedentary past. We’re always looking to expand our Senior Exercise offerings, which now include tai chi, Bingocize, and “A Matter of Balance.” Go to www.dutchessny.gov/seniorexercise to learn more.

Our newest volunteering opportunity, the “Friendly Calls” program, is tremendously popular with older adults at risk of loneliness and social isolation. That means demand is high for volunteers.

If you’re interested in volunteering but are pressed for time, being a “Friendly Calls” volunteer can be done in just a half-hour, once a week – from home, on your lunch break, or even your summer vacation. It’s open to all volunteers 18 and up, so if you have a recent high school graduate or college student home for the summer, we’d be happy to have them volunteer and make a real difference in the life of an older adult.

For more information about any OFA volunteering opportunities, email bjones@dutchessny.gov or call 845-486-2555. If your available hours don’t match ours, Dutchess County’s website (www.dutchessny.gov) lists dozens of other local volunteering opportunities.

 

Golden Living is prepared by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, Todd N. Tancredi, director. Email him at ofa@dutchessny.gov.

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