This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.
Volunteer work is a wonderful use of your time. Doing something worthwhile for others offers a wealth of benefits to your own well-being, from keeping you mentally and socially active to strengthening your sense of purpose and satisfaction with life.
When The Mather, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and better, opens in Tysons in 2024, it will be home to some dedicated volunteers. One of them is Bob Fall, who dedicates approximately 30 hours a week during basketball season as an assistant coach for the girls’ varsity team at Langley High School.
Bob has served as one of two assistant coaches on the team for eight years. “I did this while I was still working a ‘real job’ — I’m not sure how I did that!” he says. “We have to do a tremendous amount of prep work. I watch a heck of a lot of film of the teams we play, as well as our own team.”
He enjoys the camaraderie with the other coaches, and the energy of the kids. “This is a particularly satisfying experience, because I’m part of a small, stable coaching staff that works well together,” he says. “And it’s a very energetic atmosphere to be in a gym with 12 teenage girls. There’s a lot of intensity — it keeps me young. It’s just fantastic.”
Currently living in Annandale, Bob and his wife Helen have lived in the area since he went to law school at George Washington University. He worked at the Freddie Mac headquarters, close to The Mather’s location. “I used to jog past The Mather’s future site on my lunch hour,” he says.
As they prepare to move to Tysons, Bob says, “I’m looking forward to joining a community in which I know there will be a lot of activities, and opportunities to be with interesting people, with learning opportunities all the time.”
Benefits of Volunteering
Interestingly, some volunteer activities may be better than others when it comes to life satisfaction. Research from Mather Institute looked at different formal and informal volunteer activities and found that many older adults could increase their life satisfaction by choosing formal activities, generally done through an organization, as opposed to informal activities like helping out a neighbor or friend.
Mather Institute is the research area of Mather, the parent organization to The Mather. The Institute is an award-winning resource for research and information about wellness, aging, trends in senior living, and successful aging service innovations.
“In our study on ‘the value of volunteering,’ we found that not all opportunities offer the same psychological benefits,” says study author Nicole Lehpamer, PhD, senior research associate at Mather Institute. The study reveals that volunteer activities most likely to increase your life satisfaction include:
- Mentoring youth or tutoring and teaching
- Collecting, preparing, serving, or distributing food
- General labor (like cleaning up a public park)
Want to find a volunteer opportunity that will maximize your life satisfaction? Start by looking at local community groups, schools, or places of worship for formal volunteer opportunities like those listed above.
The Mather in Tysons, VA, for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be. It opens in 2024.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Reston Association is seeking candidates for its 2024 Board of Directors’ election. Four seats are open for the election, which will take place in March. Specifically, two at-large director seats…
Zombies, pirates and other virtual characters are about to be unleashed on Tysons, just in time for Christmas. Sandbox VR will launch its new virtual reality gaming experience at 1656…
Do the holidays have you stressed and busy? Worry not about what to wear as Live Fairfax has the Style Survival Guide for this season!
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.