Leave a comment

How to stay busy as a retiree

You’ve finally retired! And now you’re (hopefully) living somewhere nice and sunny. You had tons of plans for retirement: travel, hobbies, cooking, being with friends and family. But after a few weeks, you start to feel something. You feel bored. You’ve already watched as much TV as one can handle, you are doing your hobbies, but it’s not enough.

How do you stay busy once you’re no longer working? For many retirees and seniors, the answer is to find something similar to work that is rewarding to you. Now that you don’t need to work for money, you can do work for other reasons such as helping people or learning.

night-office-shirt-mail.jpg

Here are a few ideas to help keep you busy and fulfilled during your retirement.

Start an exercise routine
No longer can you give the excuse that you’re too tired from work to exercise. Now you can set the perfect time for working out whether it’s 8am, 1pm, or 10pm. Do at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per day. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, try joining a class.

Volunteer
What’s a cause you really can get behind? Maybe you want to help build homes for those in your community, you can join Habitat for Humanity. Perhaps you’re an animal lover, check out your local shelter. Volunteer at a hospital as a greeter. There are tons of opportunities out there. Check out Volunteer Match for opportunities near you.

Find a part time job
If you like the idea of working some more, find a part time job. Now that you don’t need money, you can be very picky about the job you take and you can leave if it doesn’t suit you. Find something that suits your needs whether it’s interacting with people, working in a certain field, or just a way to get out of the house for a few hours per week.

Mentor or Teach
If you were in a field such as business there are ways you can help mentor a young person or someone wanting to start their own business. The same goes for sports. If you were great at baseball, offer to coach a little league team. Maybe you are a master at painting or jewelry, head to your local community center and see if you can teach some classes.

Get involved with a cause or issue
Are you passionate about a certain issue? Now you can put your energy towards making a difference. Maybe you want to help the homeless in your area or figure out how to get more people out to vote. Put the energy you spent working into a cause you can really get behind.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Ways to give back for the holidays

How do you plan to show your gratitude this holiday season? Will you give gifts? Volunteer? Visit far away family and friends?

There are tons of ways to give back not only to your friends and family, but also to your community. The holiday season is a time of giving, and it’s the perfect time to go out of your way for a stranger or someone needing a little joy or helping hand.

dog-christmas-xmas-bulldog

We’re putting this guide together focused on the Lee & Collier County area, as that’s where we are based. We hope you take a chance to look this over and plan to give back a little something to someone in need during the holidays.

Salvation Army

We all know about the bell ringers (which you can volunteer for) but did you know they also need assistance sorting and packaging toys and food boxes for holiday distribution? Click here to find out more.

St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew’s House is known for helping fight hunger, homelessness, and addition in Collier County. They are always accepting donations for:

  • Cars
  • Stock
  • Cash
  • Material donations (free pickup of large items)

You can apply to volunteer online.

  • Staff support
  • Help retail staff & stock merchandise at thrift store locations
  • Kitchen assistance
  • Serve holiday meals
  • Serve meals at Justin’s Place Feeding Ministry
  • Hold a fundraiser
  • Admin support
  • Pack groceries and organize in food pantry

Stockings 4 Kids

Stockings 4 Kids gives less fortunate kids in the SWFL area a filled stocking for Christmas. They’re always accepting donations and each stocking costs $15.

Brook’s Legacy Animal Rescue

Give a dog or cat a loving home this holiday season, or volunteer to be a foster parent. Volunteers are always needed, especially for adoption events.

Collier County Hunger and Homeless Coalition

This group is dedicated to preventing and ending hunger and homelessness in Collier County. Donations are welcome any time of year.

Cancer Alliance of Naples

The Cancer Alliance of Naples formed 13 years ago to help those touched by cancer. Donations are always welcome and there are plenty of volunteer opportunities.

  • Volunteer in the office
  • Speakers on cancer-related topics (nutrition, beauty, stress reduction, etc)
  • Sponsorships

Habitat for Humanity

Help build homes for the less fortunate. Volunteers 16 years of age and older are welcome on the job site. Those younger can help by setting up refreshments for volunteers. You can also volunteer in the office, fold newsletters, and help in the Habitat Store.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been helping to fight hunger in Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, and Hendry counties. Volunteer to hold a food drive, become a partner, or a general volunteer. Donations of money go a long way, every $1 donated helps distribute $8 worth of food.

Meals of Hope

This Naples organization has packaged over 36 million meals to date. Join a food packing event or host one yourself. There are also volunteer opportunities and an online donation section.

Youth Haven

Youth Haven’s Holiday Angels runs from November 23-January 5. Each donation amount provides something to a child in need such as supplies, one week enrichment summer camp, animal assisted therapies, and more.

Besides donating they also have various volunteer programs:

  • Open Windows art program
  • Healthy Starts pantry program
  • Helping Hands program
  • Admin support
  • Special events


Leave a comment

How can you help seniors in the community?

Volunteer seniors southwest florida.png

Maybe you don’t have a grandparent nearby you can help out. Or maybe you understand the hardships that many seniors in our country and even our local community go through. Many are unable to drive, which prevents them from going to the store easily, or visiting the doctor, or just going out to eat or visit the library. Some do not have family members in the area and are alone for the holidays.

There are plenty of ways you can help seniors in your area though. You can volunteer to drive them to one place each week. You can spend time with them, watch tv, knit, play board games. You can donate gifts to senior charities during the holidays.

Since our Just Like Family headquarters is in southwest Florida, we are going to focus on how to help seniors in this area.

Alzheimer’s Support Network

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Support Network is to make the lives of caregivers easier and enrich the lives of patients. The Alzheimer’s Support Network exists to assist families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. Providing a compassionate and loving support system for families is our prime purpose. As a network, we connect families with each other, local resources, and wider coalitions aimed at caring for caregivers and establishing the best possible treatment for patients. As navigators we guide families through all aspect of the disease process, including providing educational programs to families and the community at large. As advocates, we strive to ease the burden of caregivers, enrich the lives of patients, and foster broader social awareness, respect and understanding of those with Alzheimer’s and their families.

JFCS of Southwest Florida

They run programs and services including mental health services, community services like financial assistance and a food pantry, and senior services like their Senior Center, outreach and support, and dementia respite support services.

As a volunteer you can be a driver, help in the Senior Center, visit adults who are isolated due to illness, age or disability, and more.

Click here to find more volunteer opportunities.

Collier Senior Resources

The Golden Gate Senior Center has plenty of volunteer opportunities:

  • Do Spanish-to-English Translations
  • Tutor / Teach Computer Skills
  • Lead Crafts and / or Art Projects
  • Play Music or Provide Entertainment
  • Be Handy, Garden, Paint, etc.
  • Lead Exercise Classes —Tai Chi or Other?
  • Help us with administrative work
  • Let Us Know Your Special Skills … We Need Help in Many Areas!

Reach out to Terry, the Volunteer Coordinator

Meals on Wheels of Lee County

They’re in need of drivers to deliver meals a few hours each week. They need more help in the spring and summer due to seasonal help moving back up north.

Harry Chapin Food Bank

Their mission is to fight hunger. Volunteers help with “product recovery, work in our fast-paced warehouse, provide administrative support, conduct their own food and fund drives, and assist with special events. The Food Bank depends upon volunteers who help us to distribute millions of pounds of food throughout Southwest Florida.”

They also cater to special interests like photography, computers, carpentry, and more.

Hope HealthCare

Our mission is to provide exceptional care and support to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey. Our vision is to create an environment in which life’s journey is cherished.

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities including:

  • Visitor &Transportation
  • Sewers & Artisans
  • Office Help & Special Events
  • Hope Chest Resale Store
  • Pet Program
  • Honor Gaurd for Veterans

Garden of Hope and Courage

The Naples Community Hospital Garden of Hope and Courage is looking for Concierge Volunteers. You will be providing patients going through clinical treatments with a respite in the garden.

Requirements

  • Outgoing personality
  • Ability to push a wheel chair
  • Coordinate patient garden tours with NCH Staff
  • Complete NCH Garden of Hope and Courage training program
  • Must also be willing to work on patient floors when not needed in the Garden of Hope and Courage

 

Do you know of an opportunity that we missed? Leave it in the comments and we will be sure to add it!

 


Leave a comment

Senior Vacation!

Sure, we’re heading into the “thinner” vacation months of November, December, January and February, but that just means you can find the best deals on flights and hotels!  And what better time for a local Southwest Florida senior to go on vacation than when your backyard is overflowing with people visiting from elsewhere?  Why not visit their hometowns while they visit yours?  But where to go?  Not every locale is the best if you’re over 65.  San Francisco is mind-blowingly beautiful, but it’s a city best seen on foot that also happens to be covered in massive hills.  New York has more things to see and do than most people can do in a lifetime, but lots of local seniors are from the New York area, and have already done and seen it all.

So, to help you get started on picking a perfect place to explore in these bargain-oriented travel months, we’re sharing a fantastic list of very specific suggestions for elderly adventurers from homeaway.com.  The full article is right HERE, and here’s a sample from it.  We’re sure one of their seven ideas will be perfect for you!

7. Soak in Southern Charm

  • Trip/Destination: Charleston, SC
  • Best for: Senior tour groups
  • Must see: Charleston’s beautiful house museums

Charleston is often called the Holy City because it has so many beautiful churches. It’s one of the most historic, and polite, cities in the United States, and is easily toured by bus. Visit the Aiken-Rhett House, built back in 1818, or Drayton House, just outside the city, which survived both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Take a carriage ride around the Historic District or enjoy a boat tour out to Fort Sumter where the Civil War began. Active seniors who enjoy a round of two of golf should consider a charming beachfront vacation cottage at Kiawah Island to hit the links at the famous Kiawah Island Resort.