United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia

The Benefits of Volunteering is for Everyone!!

Posted almost 4 years ago by James F. Lawrence

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The Benefits of Volunteering is for Everyone!!

Three of the cornerstones for ensuring a healthy life as we age are remaining physically active, engaging in activities that allow us to remain cognitively sharp, and maintaining and building social networks.
As your state president, I also believe these are also three benefits of volunteering.
Working in geriatrics as a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist over the past 16 years, I know the important elements relating to healthy aging as I see it upfront almost daily. However, since becoming your state president for UAPRN Georgia, I have learned (and am still learning) about volunteering as a healthcare professional.

As a cohort of professionals who provide services and give one's mind, body, and spirit in serving our patients, I frequently come home after a typical 12 to 13 hour work day and say to myself "no more, my tank is empty, I can give no more!" Yet, again and again I re-learn that when giving from one's heart without underlying selfish motives, one truly does receive so much more in return. In fact, current research suggests that volunteering provides more than intrinsic value and "warm and fuzzy feelings of pride. Volunteering also provides positive health benefits for those actively engaged in volunteering.  Individuals who actively volunteer report lower mortality and depression rates, fewer physical injuries and limitations, and higher levels of well-being. This is very important data that I share with each of you to stimulate your professional volunteering as well as participation in your local UAPRN chapter. Furthermore, I encourage you to share these facts with your aging patient population as elemenys of aging successfully.

Over the past year, I have been very blessed and made aware of many of these facts on volunteerism when I accepted an invitation to serve as a volunteer on a national conference committee for next week's 2015 White House Conference on Aging. This conference has taken place every 10 years so I was humbled and honored when asked to be a part of American history in planning for this event. Unlike no other White House Conference on Aging, I want to personally invite each UAPRN member and follower to participate in this incredible opportunity. Historically, this very prestigious event has been by invitation (and high security clearance only) for participants. All of that has changed for next week's July 13, 2015 conference. For the first time in our nation's history, our nation's leaders will put on this conference virtually allowing all of you to login, participate, and learn about important issues that relate to all of us in this nation.

I suspect that this is the first time most of you have heard about this event. However, I want to encourage you too individually or even better, to participate, as a healthcare practice or school organization by logging on to http://www.whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/ and registering as a "Watch Party" or locating my public "Watch Party" and join my group for 15 minutes, for your 30 minutes lunch break, or for as long as you can do so comfortably. By participating and volunteering your time, I know it will be a great conference.

I would also ask that you encourage your aging patients to sign on and learn about ways they can maximize their physical, mental, and social well-being to remain independent and active as they age. This conference may viewed on July 13, 2015 beginning at 10:00 am through 5:00 pm through live streaming at https://www.whitehouse.gov/live. I am attaching some helpful resources that may be of interests to many.

Most importantly know that as your state president, I value each of you and know that there is a place for all of us in UAPRN. This organization can only exist and grow through your participation and involvement!

James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. APRN BC CPS CHPN FAANP
State UAPRN President