Doc Talk | Volunteering helpful for seniors


Volunteer work may not sound like the kind of thing that directly affects our health.

But doctors say it does, especially for seniors. And Lara Greenberg met a 91-year-old volunteer who proves that to be true.

Not every 91-year-old knows how to navigate a computer, but Dorothy Lingenfelter certainly does.

And she's learned by volunteering with Holy Spirit Hospital.

"I love to come over here. It gets me out of the house too," said Lingenfelter.

It's become her life's work. She's been volunteering at the hospital for 41 years.

Doctors say that is probably part of what's contributed to Dorothy's long life.

"We see the people that give back to their communities, they live longer. They have less depression, less anxiety," said Dr. Carrie Delone, Geisinger Holy Spirit Medical Director.

"I have three other sisters, all younger than me and i’m the last one left," said Lingenfelter.

Dr. Delone says volunteering can also lower blood pressure and even improve mental health.

"It helps us to live longer, be happier, have less stress and by lowering those stress hormones, by having those healthy relationships, it can really impact our physical and mental health," said Dr. Delone.

If you're interested in volunteering, doctors say find something you're passionate about and people who you like to work with.

Dr. Delone says those who volunteer to put it on their resume don't get the same benefits from it as those who volunteer because they want to.

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