social participation and volunteering in later life
Active ageing is recommended by international policy bodies including the World Health Organisation as a means to tackle the challenges of demographic ageing. This chapter considers active ageing in Ireland in a time of austerity, specifically assessing older people’s involvement in social participation, creative activities and volunteering in Ireland. It investigates the motivations for, potential benefits from and barriers to participation in such activities. It discusses how certain groups, (including the oldest old, those with mobility issues and men) may be under-represented in terms of participation. The chapter draws on three mixed methods empirical studies to illuminate the findings. The chapter concludes that while social benefits and an enhanced quality of life are associated with such engagement, governments need to ensure that such programmes are adequately resourced so that all groups of older people may participate and that older people are not overburdened providing services that ought to be provided by the state.
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