Does participation in voluntary organizations (churches and clubs) tend to decline among older adults?
No. Women in their 30s and 40s comprise the greatest number of volunteers. However, forty percent of older adults volunteer. Older adults may be less likely to belong to organizations than younger persons, but more consistent in their activities and loyal to groups from middle age until their 60s. Volunteerism is correlated with life satisfaction, usefulness, physical and mental well being, and a sense of accomplishment. Persons with higher education and income levels, histories of volunteerism, and broad interests are more likely to volunteer. Health problems, lack of transportation and limited income may limit volunteer activities.
Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Last update: Monday, July 07, 2008