|Volunteering Served as a Transitional Role That Enhances the Well-Being and Cognitive Health Among Older Adults With Cognitive Impairments.
|Year of Publication
|Lee, K, Dabelko-Schoeny, H, Richardson, VE
|Journal of Applied Gerontology
|community, Psychosocial, Self-rated health, social engagement
OBJECTIVES: We examined whether volunteering among older adults with cognitive impairments serves as a transitional role that can enhance these older persons' well-being and cognitive health.
METHODS: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we selected older adults with cognitive impairments ( = 472) and developed linear mixed models to assess associations between volunteering and health outcomes.
RESULTS: Volunteers in our sample were mostly females, non-Hispanic whites, those with higher income, and those with a high-school diploma. Volunteering was associated with higher levels of self-rated health, and consistent participation in volunteer work was related to stronger feelings of purpose in life. Cognitive health slightly improved over time only among those who volunteered.
DISCUSSION: We demonstrate that cognitive impaired older adults' participation in the volunteer role can benefit cognitive health while strengthening their late life resilience.