Weatherford Democrat

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January 10, 2013

Improve your well being and longevity by volunteering

A new year often motivates us to establish new habits – or explore opportunities we’ve always wanted to try. These goals may range from eating healthier or exercising regularly, to writing a book or beginning an art class.

If becoming more social, helping others and giving back to the community is on your list, consider becoming a volunteer at Weatherford Regional Medical Center – it may just improve your well being.

Weatherford Regional Medical Center has volunteer opportunities throughout the hospital campus for teens, ages 14 and up, and adults. Areas that currently have volunteer opportunities include:

• Escorting patients and family members in the front lobby.

• Delivering items to departments within the hospital.

• Assisting patients and family members in the outpatient surgery waiting room or ER waiting room.

•  Helping staff on the nursing units.

Volunteers at WRMC enhance the services hospital staff provides patients, their families and guests. Several years ago, the Corporation for National and Community Service released a study that reviewed a collection of scientific research that revealed volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others. According to the report and its research:

• For adults age 65 and older, the positive effect of volunteering on physical and mental health is due to the personal sense of accomplishment an individual gains from volunteer activities.

• Volunteering led to lower rates of depression among people 65 and older.

• People who volunteered after experiencing heart attacks reported decreased feelings of despair and depression – two factors linked to mortality in post-coronary artery disease patients.

“There is now a convergence of research leading to the conclusion that helping others makes people happier and healthier. So the word is out – it’s good to be good,” said Dr. Stephen Post, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-author of the book “Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.”

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