Helping the Elderly

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With ever increasing life expectancy, we have a society that is rapidly ageing. The number of people in the UK over the age of 80 is expected to increase by over 50% in the next decade. This means there are a large number of elderly people around the country that could benefit from a few hours of your time, either in their own home, in care homes or in hospitals.

Whether you keep an elderly person company for an hour or two, or help them with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning, you will be significantly improving their quality of life. As much as they will benefit from your care and attention, there is much to be gained from spending time with individuals that have lived long and interesting lives.

The route you take to volunteer with the elderly is up to you. Age-related charities regularly advertise for volunteers but there are also roles available in hospitals and care homes – its best to get in touch with your local ones and ask. There are also behind the scenes roles available with age-related charities such as shop work and administrative support if you don’t wish to get so emotionally involved.

It is likely that you will need to undergo a DBS or disclosure check before you begin volunteering with the elderly, to find out whether you have any previous criminal offences. But, the cost of this is usually covered by whoever is employing you as a volunteer.

What sort of roles are available?

Roles working directly with elderly people


elderly befriender

As a Befriender, you will volunteer to keep in regular contact with an elderly person, either face to face, over the phone or in writing, to keep their loneliness at bay. Befriending services usually ask volunteers to commit to a minimum number of hours each week to allow the relationship between you and your elderly companion to grow. Charities and services such as Age UK who offer this scheme will match you with an elderly person with similar interests to encourage natural bonding.

Practical help

Elderly Practical Help

Deterioration of health as we age can make everyday tasks such as shopping, cooking or taking the dog for a walk feel more difficult. Many elderly people cannot afford to pay for home help and/or do not have family around, so they struggle alone. By agreeing to volunteer your time each week to care for an elderly person, you are agreeing to make their life so much easier. The Royal Voluntary Service needs regular volunteers to help the elderly with practical tasks – why not learn more today?

What do volunteers say about their experience?

Additional roles supporting age charities and services

For more information on supporting the elderly in ‘behind the scenes’ roles, please click through to the following pages:

Charity Shop Work
Office & Admin

Or, explore the range of charities below.

Which organisations can I volunteer with?

Age UK, Friends of the Elderly, Royal Voluntary Service,  Alzheimer’s Society UK, NCVO

Volunteering in your local community
If you’d like to focus your time on supporting local charities that help the elderly within your community, you could speak to local care homes, hospices and hospitals for current vacancies and information on how to apply.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the elderly, then why not head over to the volunteering section of our site where you can browse opportunities near you?

Why volunteer later in life?

More and more people are finding satisfaction in Volunteering. Find out why you should become a volunteer and the benefits it can bring.

Find your purpose

Volunteer for a charity and you will be joining a mission to make the world a better place. Find a cause that inspires you and get started.

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