Atlanta, GA, September 16, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- A recent study presented at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual meeting in May showed that retirees over 65 who volunteer had less than half the risk of death than their non-volunteer peers. Park Springs Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) understands the importance of volunteerism and has been a strong proponent of it since opening its 54-acre campus style community in Stone Mountain, Ga. in 2004. On Friday, June 26 they honored each Member who volunteers at an appreciation party at 2 p.m. in the Clubhouse. Each Member will be awarded a certificate of appreciation.
The AGS study, which included 6,360 retired people over the age of 65, controlled data to account for demographics, socioeconomic status, chronic health conditions, geriatric syndromes, functional limitations, and a subject's propensity for volunteering, depression, cognition and self-rated health. Research revealed that only 12 percent of volunteers in the study died compared to 26 percent of those who did not volunteer.
"Volunteering is a wonderful way for our Members to not only give back to the community, but to themselves as well,” said Dr. Margaret White, medical director at Park Springs CCRC. “Doctors have known for years, but more and more people are coming to realize that those who have regular contact with others generally live happier and longer lives than those who do not. Not only does staying involved with other people help stave off loneliness and health issues such as headaches, heart disease, ulcers and diabetes, it also keeps their minds active and alert. While we know that staying active and alert is necessary for seniors, we are also now seeing a direct correlation with Atlanta seniors living longer because of it."
Bud Taylor is one of many Park Spring's Atlanta active adult
Members who has been giving back to the community for years. He currently volunteers at the Fernbank Museum once a week, Meals on Wheels twice a month and at the Park Springs Market every other week. When asked why he does it, he simply replied, "Because I enjoy it."
Tally Sweat, another Park Springs' Atlanta active adult Member said she enjoys the way volunteering makes her feel both inside and out.
"It's self-serving in a way; it makes me feel good to know that I am contributing to the betterment of my community, the world, and life," she said. "It also keeps me active."
Ms. Sweat's volunteer efforts are wide in scope. She has helped raise over $9.5 million to restore the historic Park on Ponce de Leon, served on the board for The Trust for Public Land and spearheaded the "Wild Flower" license plate initiative. At Park Springs she chairs the Development Committee for Park Springs Foundation, a foundation that awards educational scholarships to qualifying employees.
Park Springs' on-campus Atlanta assisted living facility, Cobblestone, also benefits from the Atlanta CCRC's active volunteer base. This helps by creating a friendship and social bond that has proven to prolong life. Park Spring's Members also help organize plays, musical performances, parties and outings for the community.
David and Joan Thirsk, who volunteer at Cobblestone, say that volunteering gives them something to do as well as a way to build friendships.
Two of the many involved members at Parks Springs are Ray Dubner and his wife Fran. Ray is a member of the Park Spring’s Finance Committee and is President of the Employee Appreciation Fund at the Atlanta CCRC. He is also the facilitator of the "Monthly Memoir Class."
Fran currently serves as a "study buddy" to several children at Mountain Park Elementary School in DeKalb County and has served for the past 10 years as the "thank you note correspondent" for Mercer University. Together, they volunteer their time as assistants for the Park Spring's semiannual Book and Garage Sales, as crewmembers for Park Spring’s theatrical productions and as emcees for the communities’ trivia night.
"We have the time and we want to give back, so we volunteer. We value the experience of being enriched through interacting and hopefully helping others."
About Park Springs:
The Southeast's premier CCRC, Park Springs enhances life for Atlanta active adults by providing independent residences alongside extensive amenities and on-site wellness and private health care facilities. The 398-home campus-style community is situated on 54 acres surrounded by Stone Mountain Park. A 64-suite health center provides assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia/Alzheimer's care. The campus style community boasts a 50,000 square foot clubhouse serving meals in four themed dining rooms daily and a 12,000 square foot fitness center with an indoor swimming pool. The Seniors Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders named Park Springs a Platinum winner. Park Springs is developed by Isakson Living and managed by Life Care Services LLC (LCS), a leader in senior living communities
. LCS today serves more than 23,000 residents daily in over 80 communities nationwide. For more information on Park Springs, call 770-879-5006, 800-267-7126 or visit www.parkspringscommunities.com.