It’s Older Americans Month – a time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of seniors across the nation who are making a difference every day.

This year’s theme – Age Out Loud – emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with “boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages,” according to Administration for Community Living, which leads the annual observance.

Through REST (Respite Education & Support Tools), we see the impact REST Trainers and Companions are making in their golden years – and how they exemplify boldness, confidence and passion in building networks of support for caregivers.

They have found a way to give back and serve their communities. Many call the experience fulfilling, whether they are conducting training events, or providing quality respite care by connecting one-on-one with caregivers and care receivers in their homes.

Giving time to a good cause can provide health benefits later in life, according to a study by the Corporation for National & Community Service.

“A growing body of research shows an association between volunteering and mental and physical health benefits,” according to the report. “In particular, older volunteers report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations, and higher levels of well-being.”

Other findings include:  seniors who volunteer frequently live longer and report less disability, and older bereaved individuals who volunteer experience a shorter course of depression than those who do not volunteer.

Older Americans Month provides the opportunity for us to invite adults, age 55 and up, to get involved by becoming a REST Trainer or REST Companion.  It’s never too late to make a positive impact!  We have training events scheduled nationwide. Click here to see our latest course offerings.

Getting involved can allow you to meet a critical community need, while contributing to a longer, healthier life!  Learn more about REST at www.restprogram.org.