Volunteer Benefits

Yesterday, I sat with a client and was reminded of the reason I am working to see the Senior Environmental Corps become a prototype for other regions.  The trend I see in working with the aging community is that as people age, isolation becomes a huge issue.  Seniors retire and either lose contacts with professional acquaintances or deaths take away their close friends, family members or significant others.  I am beginning a research project with a specific focus on the Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps to examine the benefits volunteering has on members of the aging community.  There are several research questions that I hope to review including using quantitative methods to measure the relationship between social connections and health.   I also hope to examine whether a volunteer program with persons who share a common interest and age demographic make one more likely to continue volunteering.  Finally, the PSEC main focus is outdoor water sampling, which requires participants to walk at least 30 minutes.  I did preliminary research in the past on whether volunteers of an older demographic are more physically active than others.   I hope to find answers and will update you here on my research.    – Debra Scott, Principal of SP Consulting

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