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Volunteering, Self-Help, and Citizenship in Later Life: A Literature Review

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Reviewed by

Volunteering, Self-Help and Citizenship in Later Life:
A Collaborative Research Project by Age Concern Newcastle and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Susan Baines, Mabel Lie and Jane Wheelock

As the populations of most developed countries show an increasing
proportion of older people, debates have started about how an aging
population will be cared for.  For volunteering, this often means how
volunteers will be engaged to help care for the elderly.  But this assumption ignores two vital facts: one, that volunteering can help keep older people healthy; and two, that older people are active and a potential  source of more volunteers.

This report focuses on research designed to better understand volunteering among older people. It looks at the conditions under which older people become volunteers, their capacity to remain volunteers as they age, and the constraints that may cause them to restrict their volunteering. The report draws out implications for volunteer-involving organisations and policy makers.

This collaborative research project by Susan Baines, Mabel Lie, and Jane Wheelock was produced in 2006 as a collaborative research project by Age Concern Newcastle and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.