A feel good research study from Sumedha Gupta (2018):
Cognitive decline among the elderly imposes a large welfare and health care cost on the individual as well as society. Little however is known about factors that can mitigate cognitive decline. Using seven waves of the Health and Retirement Study and a fixed effects – instrumental variable methodology, this study estimates the effects of volunteering on old age cognitive decline. Although cognitive decline is an inevitable aspect of aging, our results suggest that volunteering participation significantly forestalls its progress among individuals aged 60 years and older.
Perhaps the old adage that giving is better than receiving is true after all.