College of Liberal Arts
Psychology and Child Development Department
BS in Psychology
Debra Valencia Laver
Volunteering within their community greatly benefits older adults, contributing to increased optimism, self-perceived health, and feelings of connectedness. However, most of the literature examines the volunteerism of community dwelling seniors, with few studies examining the experiences of older adult volunteers living in care facilities. The present study aims to compare the motives and experiences of community dwelling volunteers with a sample of four residents of Bayside Care Center that participated in hospice volunteer training. Two focus groups were conducted with the residents following their training, and the recorded contents were transcribed for qualitative analysis. Results indicated that this group of older adults exhibited similar motivations to community dwelling seniors in the existing literature. However, due to delays in the program’s implementation, the present study was unable to examine whether hospice volunteerism resulted in similar benefits for this population.