Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Giving is Good for Your Health
Click here to watch the WZZM13 Senior Wellness segment on this topic.
During the holiday season we are often told that it is better to give than receive. Many studies attest to the benefits of giving – not only for the recipients, but for the giver’s health and happiness. It is also important that we recognize and remember our Senior Santa’s for all the gifts they give to us and in doing so, we will reap great rewards.
Why is Giving Good for You?
- Giving makes us feel happy
- A Harvard Business School study found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more than when they spent money on themselves. These good feelings are reflected in our biology – when people give, it releases endorphins in the brain that produce positive feelings, pleasure, social connection and trust.
- Giving is good for our health
- Research has linked different forms of generosity to better health, even among the sick and elderly. A study from the University of CA, Berkeley found that elderly who volunteered for 2 or more organizations had 44% greater longevity than non-volunteers. Researcher suggest that one reason giving may improve physical health and longevity is that it helps decrease stress, which is known to cause a variety of health issues.
- Giving strengthens our spiritual life
- Selfless giving is a responsibility to many faiths and religions. Knowing you have fulfilled your beliefs gives a sense of inner peace
- Giving builds friendships and connections
- Working together with others builds social connections and friends which is a great contributor to longevity
- Giving is contagious
- A study from Harvard shows that when one person behaves generously it inspires others to do the same.
Who and what are Senior Santa’s?
At Porter Hills, we are blessed to see random acts of kindness everyday by our own residents. They are our “Senior Santa’s” who unselfishly and unknowingly give to others all year long. At this time of year especially, we want to honor and show gratitude for them – each of them is a gift to our community. They give in many ways by:
- Giving back to family and friends
- Time – Seniors are very willing to share their time to help when they are able
- Experience – Many of us have had the pleasure to listen to the treasured life experiences that our seniors have had. Their advice and patient manner are lessons we can all learn from and value.
- Resources – So often, seniors are the first to share their financial resources with their children and grandchildren. In our current economic times, this is a primary concern that they frequently express.
- Giving back to their community/neighbors
- How often we see residents lending a helping hand to one another even if it is burdensome to them. Watching a frail elder help their friend in need is a touching reminder that our problems may not be so great.
- Giving not just from their plenty, but from their limit
- Seniors are often the first to give, even if it may take from their own needs. They would rather help someone else.
Where and how can we give to our Seniors?
- Material gifts
- It doesn’t have to be large – a plant, some goodies, a scarf, a blanket. It’s the thought that counts.
- Financial gifts
- Non-Profit Retirement communities
- Porter Hills is proud of our Benevolent Fund which provides financial assistance to eligible residents who have outlived their financial resources through no fault of their own. Consider a gift to this fund this season. For more information call 949-4975 and ask for the Porter Hills Foundation
- Many local senior organizations
- Senior Neighbors, Meals on Wheels, etc.
- A Note a Day
- Write a handwritten “note a day” to an unexpecting someone. Let them know you are thinking of them, thank them for something they have done, or tell them you’d like to visit with them. The rewards will be great to you and the recipient.
- Listening and spending time
- Take some time this holiday season to visit with a senior you may not have seen for a long time. A half hour conversation can bring such joy, knowing that someone still cares.
- Non-Profit Retirement communities