Yet again research is proving that, far from an ageing population being a burden, older people are making a massive contribution to society. But it’s vital that this isn’t taken for granted. Rising State Pension Ages, combined with the increasing prevalence of people working well into later life, and taking up caring responsibilities in retirement, could leave many older people with less time to volunteer in the future. Organisations that involve volunteers, and those that fund volunteering, need to make sure that opportunities are flexible and well supported so that older people’s ability to take them up is maximised.
This is what we said, but what do you think? The older age group is as diverse as any and making generalisations is a very risky business. But might there be common barriers to older volunteering, now or in the future? And how do we develop volunteering opportunities likely to work for more older people, more often?
Also this week the 2012 Household Survey results were released, showing more than one in four men and approximately one in three women volunteer between ages 60 and 74. And while participation rates fell after that, about one in five men and women aged over 75 said that had volunteered for an organisation in the last 12 months.
Doug Anthoney is Age Scotland Communication and Campaigns Officer. This post is part of the ‘Tomorrow’s Fish and Chip paper’ article series reporting the hot topics Age Scotland has been discussing with the media each week, and the Charity’s response.