Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Active ageingVoluntary work by older people in Europe$

Andrea Principi, Per H. Jensen, and Giovanni Lamura

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307204

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307204.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

Conclusions: Enhancing Volunteering by Older People in Europe

Conclusions: Enhancing Volunteering by Older People in Europe

Chapter:
(p.315) Fourteen Conclusions: Enhancing Volunteering by Older People in Europe
Source:
Active ageing
Author(s):

Andrea Principi

Giovanni Lamura

Per H. Jensen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307204.003.0014

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sheds light on two main aspects of volunteering in older age. The first one is the comparative explanation of volunteering in older age in Europe, in terms of size and composition. According to the conceptual framework employed in the book, this comparison is done in the light of five main elements: (1) older volunteers' individual characteristics and predispositions (micro level); (2) voluntary organisations (meso level), (3) the interaction and division of tasks between welfare producing institutions (that is, the welfare mix); (4) governmental policies about volunteering (macro level); and (5) the specific welfare regime. The second aspect, concerns the understanding of how volunteering of older people can be enhanced in Europe. To give an answer to this question, based on the previous European comparison, the main policy challenges to enhance volunteering in older age in Europe have been identified at a country level.

Keywords:   comparative explanation, conceptual framework, older volunteers, voluntary organisations, welfare mix, welfare regime, policy challenges, volunteering in older age

Introduction

As observed in Chapter One, ‘active ageing’ represents an overarching aim of current European Union (EU) policies. Defined as the process ‘of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age’ (WHO, 2002), it should be intended as an effort to maximise participation and well-being as people age, at the individual, organisational and societal level (Walker, 2002). According to this perspective, the current ageing of the European population can be seen in a positive way, since the capacity to perform activities at an advanced stage of age has sharply increased in recent years. A current 70-year-old or even an 80-year-old corresponds to a person 15 or 20 years younger living a century ago, and in this sense, European society is not actually ageing, but rather ‘rejuvenating’ (Giarini, 2009). In recent years, policy makers and the scientific community have increasingly recognised that, through active ageing, older people can greatly contribute to society, thus active ageing benefits society as well as older individuals in terms of better health and life satisfaction (Walker, 2011). This implies a striving to increase the participation of older people in a range of social activities within and outside the labour market. Volunteering is an important field in which active ageing can be realised, and several policy efforts in this direction have recently been undertaken by the EU, through activities planned within the European Year of Volunteering and the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity, in 2011 and 2012 respectively. But how can the formal volunteering of older people be enhanced in Europe, a rather variegated continent formed by the co-existence of different welfare regimes, with peculiar welfare mixes and legal frameworks? Although in the (p.316) past a considerable number of studies have dealt with the issue of volunteering in older age (see, for example, Fischer and Schaffer, 1993; Morrow-Howell et al, 2001; Warburton and Cordingley, 2004), these studies have seldom offered a European comparative perspective on this issue, and analyses have hardly ever considered the micro, meso, macro and structural levels in a single study, with empirical evidence mainly lacking at the meso (or organisational) level.

In the light of this background, and in accordance with the conceptual framework discussed in Chapter Two and the results of Chapters Three to Thirteen, the main aim of this concluding chapter is to attempt to comparatively explain volunteering by older people in Europe, by considering all levels of interaction. In this perspective, the indicators used to ‘explain’ volunteering in older age (for example, in terms of size and composition) represent the dependent variables constituting the thread throughout the elements employed to build our conceptual framework, as presented in Figure 14.1. The basic assumption is that five major factors concur to explain the volunteering of older people in Europe: (1) older people's individual characteristics and predispositions (micro level); (2) voluntary organisations (meso level), that represent the demand for older volunteers and structure older people's voluntary work opportunities; (3) the interaction and division of tasks between welfare-producing institutions (that is, the welfare mix); (4) governmental policies implemented in this field (macro level); and (5) the specific welfare regime.

The latter –with its ideology and set of cultural values and beliefs –includes all other dimensions considered in our conceptual framework, so that in this chapter the welfare regime is treated as a background element to comparatively understand the phenomenon of volunteering in older age. The possibility of comparing voluntary organisations (meso level) by country is limited, however, due to the methodology used in our study, since the restricted number of cases investigated in each nation prevents us delivering country-specific messages. Based on this analysis, a further aim of this chapter is to give an answer to the overall question of this volume raised in Chapter One: under what circumstances can volunteering function as a real basis for the self-fulfilment and social integration of older adults in Europe? That is, given that voluntary work allows older adults to remain active, enjoying social recognition and integration that contributes to their physical, social and mental well-being throughout their lives (Walker, 2002), what are the main policy challenges at a country level, to possibly enhance volunteering by older people?

(p.317)

Conclusions: Enhancing Volunteering by Older People in Europe

Figure 14.1: Conceptual framework of volunteering in older age

As visualised in Figure 14.1, the elements explaining the volunteering of older people in a given regime are bi-directionally connected to each other through their link with voluntary organisations, so that all of them concur to influence volunteering patterns in older age. Yet to present the results in a sequential way, in this chapter we suggest following a particular logic: in the next section we outline the characteristics of the welfare regimes included in the study, that is, the set of cultural values and beliefs that primarily characterise them. In the third section the volunteering of older people is associated with the type of interaction taking place between welfare-producing institutions (that is, the welfare mix), intended as a consequence of the peculiar welfare regimes' characteristics. The fourth section deals with older individuals' cultural orientations, characteristics and predispositions to volunteer in a given regime. In the fifth section volunteering in older age is discussed from the perspective of voluntary organisations and linked to the previous two sections, since voluntary organisations represent the key level to understand how to match the demand of older volunteers (which is also subject to the kind of contribution that voluntary organisations make to the welfare mix) (p.318) with the supply of older volunteers (which depends on their individual predispositions). In the sixth section the volunteering of older people is analysed in association with the policy frameworks existing in the different regimes, and the chapter ends with some concluding remarks on how volunteering by older people may be enhanced in Europe.

Main Characteristics of the Welfare Regimes included in the Study

Since the voluntary sector is embedded in a welfare regime with its cultural and ideological context, the first step of our analysis is to describe the characteristics of the welfare regimes of the countries included in our study: Denmark, England (data are shown for the UK, when unavailable for England), France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. As mentioned in Chapter Two, culture, values and belief systems are the basic organising principles shaping choices made by individuals and institutions. Since cultural events can persist over a long time, to understand these cultural values we have to assume a historical perspective, paying particular attention to the period in which modern welfare states were born. According to this view, each welfare regime is characterised by (or embedded in) historically rooted cultural differences that explain contemporary situations and differences. This implies a shared conception of what is good and desirable in a specific culture, and this understanding justifies beliefs, actions (that is, strategies) and goals at the individual and societal levels (Schwartz, 2008). This also determines what the ‘right’ relation between the different welfare-producing institutions, including the voluntary sector, ‘should’ be. Scholars have conceptualised and measured the ‘division of labour’ between different welfare-producing institutions (state, labour market, family, the voluntary sector) in different ways. These include the degree of de-commodification, intended as state intervention to allow individuals to be independent from the market (Esping-Andersen, 1990), and that of de-familialisation (Bambra, 2004), intended as the degree to which individuals, especially women, are able to participate in society (through work, volunteering or other activities) and can thus be independent from the family. Table 14.1 attempts to summarise the main properties of the welfare regimes under study here.

Although in 1990 Esping-Andersen recognised three main regime models (social democratic, liberal and conservative), his and other scholars' later work argued that there are reasons to add new regime types to these three initial typologies, and relevant for our study are (p.319)

Table 14.1: Characteristics of welfare regimes included in the study

Regime

Main characteristics

Social democratic

Cultural homogeneity (no immigration) during industrialisation and absence of internal conflicts, favouring social democratic movements striving for decommodification to allow workers to be mobilised (by making them independent from the market) for solidaristic actions. Presence of strong level of decommodification in terms of state intervention in welfare provision to individuals through universal benefits, and related development of a strong voluntary sector in self-expressive activities

Liberal

The industrial development between the 19th and the 20th centuries strengthened the private market because of the workers' good economic conditions and concomitant strong position of the middle class in terms of power, at the expense of the working class. This resulted in a means-tested, ‘residual’ assistance with low state benefits and a major role played by market solutions. Consequently, the voluntary sector has a tradition in social welfare delivery

Conservative

Persistence of craftsmen, farmers and small businesses during industrialisation led to the consolidation of security and support mechanisms on the basis of professional corporations. Influence of the Catholic Church to preserve traditional family structures. Principle of subsidiarity, which left ample space to the voluntary sector, with state support playing a role when the family is in need. In this context the voluntary sector collaborates with the state through a close relationship

Mediterranean

Unlike the corporatist states, weak democratic institutions during the process of industrialisation and consequent state-centred and fragmented social care tended to crowd out the voluntary sector. Cultural tradition of family care of older relatives influenced by the Catholic Church, resulting in a family-based welfare model with very limited public responsibilities, in which the voluntary sector developed marginally, and in particular to integrate weak state-centred welfare services

Post-Communist

Influence of the former Communist regime makes economic growth difficult, and inequality in distribution of resources among the population. Concomitant influence of the Catholic Church, and strong familism. In this it bears some resemblance to the Mediterranean model, but financial constraints are more severe. The Communist government almost totally eliminated the voluntary sector from social life, and it is currently underdeveloped

Sources: Information from Part II of this volume; Esping-Andersen (1990); Ferrera (1996); Salamon and Anheier (1998); Holden (2003); Bambra (2004); Fenger (2007); Warburton and Jeppsson Grassman (2011)

(p.320) the Mediterranean (or Southern) model (Ferrera, 1996) and the post-Communist model (Fenger, 2007).

With regard to the categorisation of the countries included in our study according to these five regimes (as described in Table 14.1), Sweden and Denmark belong to the social democratic model, England to the liberal one, Germany to the conservative model, Italy to the Mediterranean model and Poland to the post-Communist one (following the terminology adopted in Chapter Eight, in the following we refer to a post-Socialist regime for Poland). While in the previous cases the categorisation is quite clear, for the Netherlands and France (both of them originally included by Esping-Andersen in the conservative regime) this is less so as they have somewhat changed over time. The national chapters, Three to Ten, provide an in-depth understanding of the single welfare regime's roots and of the related voluntary action taking place in each country. However, it is worth underlining that, first, the concept of ‘welfare regime’ should not be interpreted as static and, second, that some countries can be considered to be more ‘core’ to certain regime types than others, so that regime membership might in some cases be disputed (Bambra, 2007, p 336). This may depend on important country distinctions within regimes, as argued for the conservative type (Warburton and Jeppson Grassman, 2011), or even on more recent substantial changes in policy goals. From its conservative anchors, due to a policy process started in the 1980s, the welfare regime characterising the Netherlands has evolved into a mixture of the social democratic and the liberal welfare state model, where the population has maintained a strong propensity for voluntary action, as historically fertilised by the high social cohesion within pillars (see Chapter Ten for a detailed explanation of the Dutch phenomenon of pillarisation). Instead, the French welfare regime seems to be evolving towards a liberal model (see Chapter Seven) in which the widespread sense of solidarity and citizenship has fuelled the voluntary sector, leading it to a partnership with the state that in the past 30 years has evolved from an institutional oversight to a contractual partnership based on a shared responsibility for social investment, similar to that characterising the liberal model (Archambault, 1996). Important changes have also been occurring in Poland, since in order to overcome its structural difficulties, this country seems to have been moving towards a liberal-residual regime type, even though a clear type of welfare regime has not yet been fully developed (see Chapter Eight).

(p.321) In the following we consider, as far as possible, these mentioned regimes' developments, in order to take them into account for analysing volunteering in older age using a comparative approach.

The Impact of the Welfare Mix on Volunteering by Older People

There is a strong link between the welfare regime's characteristics and the other elements considered in our conceptual framework. Starting from the welfare mix, intended as the set of interactions between the state, the market, the family and the voluntary sector, we argue that a specific welfare regime includes a specific welfare mix, and that different welfare mixes are associated differently with volunteering of older people, by influencing both the demand and the supply of older volunteers. More specifically, we want to understand how the volunteering of older people is associated with the employment rate of older workers, and with the diffusion of employee volunteer programmes in companies, since the latter create volunteer opportunities for older workers to join voluntary initiatives and to continue them even after retirement. Another useful indicator is the type of established care regime, that is, whether it is informal (not regulated), semi-formal (cash-for-care) or formal (home help/ institutional care) (Anttonen and Sipilä, 1996; Geissler and Pfau-Effinger, 2005). The family form also plays a role in this, in its possible different connotations: male breadwinner/female full-time carer; male breadwinner/female part-time carer (and part-time worker); dual breadwinner/external care (Lewis, 1992; Pfau-Effinger et al, 2009). By considering these aspects, it makes it easier to understand how care work is divided between the family and the state, and the related possibility for older people to participate in the labour market and in particular in volunteer activity. For this reason, in order to explain the size and the composition of volunteering by older people, the mentioned indicators are associated in each country with volunteering rates among older people (and in the total population) as well as with the prevalent type of voluntary work (if altruistic or self-expressive), as visualised in Table 14.2.

The data summarised in Table 14.2 allow us to start with the general observation that the regimes with the highest share of volunteering in older age (but also among the whole population) are the social democratic and the liberal ones (Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK). Volunteering in older age is less widespread in the conservative regimes (Germany and France), and rather weak in the (p.322)

Table 14.2: Volunteering in older age in different European welfare mixes

Labour market

Care

Voluntary sector

Regime

Country

Employment rate, 55–64a

Employee volunteer programmes

Predominant type of elder care

Family form

Prevalent type of voluntary workb

Volunteering rate, all population

Volunteering rate, 65–74c

Social democratic

Sweden

++

Few

Formal

Dual breadwinner/external care

Self expressive

+++

+++

Denmark

+

Yes

Formal

Dual breadwinner/external care

Self expressive

++

++

Social democratic liberal

Netherlands

+

Few

Formal

Male breadwinner/female part-time carer

Self expressive

+++

+++

Liberal

UK

+

Yes

Semi-formal/informal

Male breadwinner/female part-time carer

Self expressive

++

++

Conservative-(liberal)

France

-

Yes

Semi-formal

Dual breadwinner/external care

Both typologies

/

+-

Conservative

Germany

+

Few

Semi-formal/informal

Male breadwinner/female part-time carer

Both typologies

+

+

Mediterranean

Italy

--

No

Semi-formal/informal

Male breadwinner/female full-time carer

Both typologies

-

-

Post-Socialist-(liberal)

Poland

--

No

Informal

Dual breadwinner/female full-time carer

Both typologies

-

-

EU27

47.4

20.0d

nae

Notes and sources: + more than the European average; –less than the European average; / around the European average.

(Information) from Part II of this volume;

a Eurostat (2013, data for 2011);

b If self-expressive or altruistic, expressed by the number of volunteers involved in self-expressive volunteering (for example, volunteering in the sports, culture or recreational sectors), compared to the number of volunteers involved in altruistic volunteering (for example, volunteering in the social services or health sectors);

c We concentrated on the younger-old age group, that is, when older people are assumed to be healthy and free from disabilities. After 75 years, participation in voluntary activities decreases in all countries, mainly due to health problems and physical limitations;

d McCloughan et al (2011);

e Data not available for Europe, + and –are based on comparisons with the volunteering rate of all the population in the country and with the volunteering rates of 65-to 74-year-olds in the other countries under study.

(p.323) Mediterranean (Italy) and post-Socialist (Poland) regimes. This is at least partly explained by the regimes' characteristics that, as described in the previous section, give rise to different welfare mixes. For example, a positive association between the employment rates of older workers and the volunteering rates of older people can be seen. This is not, however, an age-related issue, since such a trend is true for the total population (and not only for its older members). Indeed countries such as Sweden and Denmark, in which political commitment has been historically devoted to full employment (Stephens, 1996), show high rates of volunteering. A reason for this is that work leads to an increase in social relationships that are conducive to volunteering. This means that politically pursuing an increase in employment rates in older age could also have a positive impact in terms of strengthening volunteering among older people, as already observed (Warburton and Jeppsson Grassman, 2011). This is in line with the concept of active ageing at all levels, and with the aims of the European and (most) national policies currently aiming at postponing retirement age.

However, as the work–volunteering nexus is not separate from the familiar sphere, it is also important to understand to which extent older people are able to participate in the labour market and in volunteering activities, in light of their involvement in informal care duties. This mainly concerns the participation of women, especially since mature and older women carry out informal care to older family members and experience major problems in reconciling paid work with unpaid care activities (Principi et al, 2012a). As a matter of fact, the evidence from the national situations described in this volume shows that while participation rates in volunteer activities are rather similar for both genders in most countries up until adult age, in mature and older age, the participation of women seems to decrease. From Table 14.2 one can see that family forms encouraging participation in the labour market (such as the dual breadwinner/external care and male breadwinner/female part-time carer models) are associated with high volunteering rates. The same general conclusion can be drawn by examining the (linked) predominant type of elder care, since the provision of formal elder care is associated with a context of high participation in the labour market and of family forms allowing such participation, as well as with high rates of volunteering. In Italy, a country characterised by low volunteering rates, a large cash-for-care scheme is available, albeit not so generous as to allow families to be fully free from care duties (despite the growing trend of employing migrant care workers for carrying out these tasks, often under undeclared terms; see Di Rosa et al, 2012).

(p.324) In some countries, however, specific peculiarities still need to be better understood. For instance, despite a not particularly high share of volunteering in older age, the current French family form is described as an example of dual breadwinner/external care model (see Chapter Seven). This may be surprising, since France has a tradition of informal care, and employment rates (even of women) are not particularly high. Yet the French welfare state is under transformation, and the recently introduced long-term care cash-for-care scheme aims to formalise family care, by providing additional resources in the form of regulated domestic care work. This means that this formalisation is directly linked to employment policies (Da Roit and Le Bihan, 2010), by shifting family care from the informal to the formal level, so that the French family model can now be more precisely classified as a dual breadwinner/external care model, with an expected positive impact in the near future on labour force participation, especially of older women. Another specification concerns the Polish family form, which has been recently evolving into a dual breadwinner/female full-time carer model. This means that Polish women mainly work, but they simultaneously continue to be the chief person in charge of family care and of its organisation, being helped in this task by other family members while they are at work.Yet employment rates are rather low in this country, as are volunteering rates.

Welfare mix characteristics also have a relationship with the prevalent type of voluntary work, since they can drag the voluntary sector in a specific direction. According to the prevalent type of interactions taking place between social actors (state, market, family and so on), volunteering may assume mainly self-expressive or mainly altruistic forms. From Table 14.2 it can be argued that when the formal provision of elder care services is predominant, volunteering tends to be mainly self-expressive in its nature, rather than altruistic. This can be explained by the fact that in highly de-commodified welfare states, the public actor, rather than the volunteer sector, is mainly responsible for the provision of welfare services, and as a consequence volunteer activities mainly develop in self-centred activities.Yet, while it is possible to clearly recognise this pattern in the social democratic regime, this evaluation is more blurred in others. That is, in countries where the predominant type of elder care is not formal, the diffusion of the altruistic type of volunteering is higher, but not that high as to be considered really ‘prevalent’. Indeed in the UK volunteering seems to be mainly self-expressive, despite the relevant role it plays in the country's social welfare delivery.

(p.325) A last point of analysis concerns employee volunteer programmes. Collaborations between companies and the voluntary sector –in terms of employees donating time or similar patterns –are not common in Europe, contrary to what happens, for instance, in the US. Yet, as shown by data reported in Table 14.2, in some European countries the first steps have been taken in this direction, even if they are still far from being fully developed, as so far they do not seem to have had a meaningful impact on the volunteering of older people.

Individual Dispositions of Older Volunteers

The characteristics of the welfare regime influence not only the nature of the relation between the different welfare-producing institutions, but they also contribute to construct and frame identities and guide individual behaviour (Pierson, 1993), including older people's attitudes and decisions towards the voluntary sector. As a consequence, one might imagine the existence of a strong link between individual values and the characteristics of the welfare mix. In this section, the size and composition of volunteering by older people are analysed by exploring individual attitudes.

To this aim, the volunteering rate among older people can be associated with individual preferences concerning the best solution for the care of older parents (choosing between formal and informal care options), and with the work propensity of people aged 50-65 (see Table 14.3). We may hypothesise that, within a given welfare regime, there might be a direct relationship between individual orientations and welfare mix characteristics, so that individual expectations on care services for older parents are directly related to the predominant type of elder care; and that older individuals' disposition to work is directly related to the employment rate of older workers. All this may affect the propensity of volunteering in older age in a supply-side perspective (that is, the number of older volunteers).

Related to elder care values, with the help of both Tables 14.2 and 14.3, we can observe in general that indeed, when individual orientations reflect a higher propensity for the use of formal services (rather than of informal family care by children), the role of such formal services in the welfare mix is more relevant, and this also corresponds to higher volunteering rates.

Although a similar association can be partly observed even between work orientation and employment rate, this relation is not always clear. In the Netherlands and the UK both the employment rate (see Table 14.2) and the volunteering rate of older people are rather high, but (p.326)

Table 14.3: Individual cultural orientations and size of volunteering by older people in different European welfare regimes

Regime

Country

Older parents should be cared for by servicesa

Older parents should be cared for by childrenb

Work orientation, 50–65c

Volunteering rate, 65–74

Social democratic

Sweden

++

--

++

+++

Denmark

++

--

++

++

Social democratic liberal

Netherlands

++

--

--

+++

Liberal

UK

+

-

-

++

Conservative-(liberal)

France

+

-

--

+-

Conservative

Germany

/

/

+

+

Mediterranean

Italy

/

/

--

-

Post-Socialist-(liberal)

Poland

-

+

+

-

EU27 (%)

37

54

6.9

Notes and sources:

(a) Percentage of people who answered ‘Public or private service providers should visit their home and provide them with appropriate help and care’ or ‘They should move to a nursing home’ to the following question: ‘Imagine an elderly father or mother who lives alone and can no longer manage to live without regular help because of his or her physical or mental condition. In your opinion, what would be the best, first option for people in this situation?’ (Eurobarometer, 2007);

(b) Percentage of people who answered ‘They should live with one of their children’ or ‘One of their children should regularly visit their home and provide them with the necessary care’ to the same question as before (Eurobarometer, 2007);

(c) Percentage of 50-to 65-year-olds who agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: ‘I would enjoy having a paid job even if I did not need the money’ (ISSP, 1997).

work propensity per se is rather low. In the Netherlands this may be due, perhaps, to a long tradition of early exit schemes in past years, while the situation in the UK might rather be due to a partly unmet call for more long-term care services for older people (see Table 14.3). Indeed, care services provided to the older UK population are not so widespread, meaning that well-off older people may prefer to care for older relatives, rather than to work. In Poland, on the contrary, both the employment rate and volunteering rate of older people are low, while work propensity is rather high, so that older Polish people would rather prefer to work more. This is in line with the developing family form in Poland (that is, the dual breadwinner model), although this clashes with the Polish state's financial constraints and difficulties in creating work opportunities. In addition, the strong family-based (p.327) welfare approach prevents many older Poles from accessing the labour market, with negative effects also on the voluntary sector.

In conclusion, the relation between individual cultural orientations and the size of volunteering in older age reflects, and is generally in line with, the country's main welfare mix characteristics. Yet in the case of discrepancies between individual orientations and welfare mix characteristics, the size of volunteering in older age in a given country seems to be more decisively affected by the latter (as shown, for instance, by the Dutch case, where we find both high rates of volunteering and employment among older people, despite their low individual work propensity). This may be interpreted in the sense that, in general, welfare mix characteristics might be stronger than individual will.

To better understand the nature of older people's voluntary work and its variation in different regimes, we can now explore older people's individual dispositions towards voluntary activities. In particular, the aim is to understand whether older volunteers are inclined to do mainly altruistic rather than self-expressive volunteering, and whether a prototypical older volunteer in a given country differs from a prototypical younger volunteer.

From analysis of the national situations, it is quite interesting to note that older volunteers' individual characteristics and dispositions are rather similar across countries. As already witnessed by a voluminous body of studies, in all countries older volunteers seem to have a very good position in terms of socio-economic resources (even if the position of younger volunteers is even better in this respect), such as high education, income, qualification, social contacts and good health conditions. Even if the nature of the present study does not allow us to analyse in detail longitudinal aspects, older volunteers can generally be described as ‘young volunteers who have grown old’. Furthermore, even if in most countries there is a general tendency to devote more time to volunteer activities in older age due to the greater amount of time available after retirement, there seem to be a few exceptions: in Italy, time devoted to volunteer activities is about the same at all ages, and in Germany, older volunteers seem to be involved more sporadically, probably due to the effect of some policy limitations (see later in this chapter).

To understand older volunteers' dispositions towards voluntary work and the possible differences from those characterising younger volunteers, in Chapters Three to Ten we described the single countries' ‘age-prototypical volunteers’. We found very few deviations from the general European ‘rule’, depicting ‘prototypical volunteers’ as those (p.328) engaged in self-expressive activities (women being more inclined to altruistic work), and ‘prototypical older volunteers’ as those more oriented to altruistic activities (especially women, again, men having a stronger propensity to work as board members).

This has repercussions in two different directions when considering the preferences and dispositions of older volunteers. On the one hand, if we look at participation within sectors, as demonstrated by previous literature (Warburton and Cordingley, 2004; Morrow-Howell, 2007), compared to younger volunteers there is a tendency for older ones, and especially for older women, to prefer an altruistic-type of volunteering (that is, providing help to people in need, being engaged in the social services or health sectors), often between peers. On the other hand, if we look at participation within age groups, it is surprising to note that, at least in the ‘younger-old’ age group, numerically speaking, the bulk of older volunteers may still be involved in self-expressive activities in most of the countries under study, although younger volunteers prevail in these activities. This interest of older volunteers for self-expressive activities is also underlined in most country profiles of older volunteers.

This (growing) interest towards self-expressive volunteering can be related to a cohort effect. Current older volunteers are more educated, qualified and healthy than previous cohorts of older volunteers, so in all countries they are motivated to volunteer by a mix of factors that are both altruistic and ego-related. The following are among the most relevant: to realise solidarity by helping other people; to increase social contacts by meeting people and making friends; to carry out useful, interesting and pleasant activities; to make one's life more meaningful; a wish to change things; to have a new goal or role in life after a long career in the labour market; or to give ‘something back’ to society. This cohort effect is expected to have an even stronger impact on future (potential) older volunteers, since they will be increasingly educated, qualified and healthy, and are therefore expected to be pushed by more ego-related motivations to volunteer and, probably, be more inclined to carry out self-expressive volunteering.

Volunteering in Older Age: Assuming the Perspective of Voluntary Organisations

Voluntary organisations are the point of contact between demand and supply of volunteering in older age. On the one hand, according to the different activities that voluntary organisations carry out, their demand for older volunteers may be related to the welfare mix, in (p.329) particular to the role they play in it. On the other hand, the supply of older volunteers, qualitatively speaking, depends on their individual predispositions and motivations. We now analyse the match between the two sides in two steps: first, by using information from the national descriptions (see Part II of this volume), we scrutinise what kind of voluntary organisations mainly attract older volunteers and how they achieve this; and second, by using the results from the case studies (as reported in Chapters Eleven to Thirteen), we explore what they are concretely doing and what they should do to support volunteering in older age, that is, to enable older volunteers to be and to remain involved. Since the case study methodology employed hardly allows a generalisation of results at a country level, the organisational perspective in this case is presented transversally across countries.

As illustrated above, older volunteers are more often associated with the altruistic type of volunteering than younger volunteers, so it may be expected that organisations providing altruistic services are those that mainly target older volunteers. This is of course the case, as witnessed in the national profiles' descriptions, even if it might not be a real ‘free organisational choice’. In fact, when these kinds of organisations try to involve younger volunteers, they often fail, ascribing the failure mainly to the lack of interest by younger people towards altruistic activities. Yet we have learned from the different national experiences that other kinds of organisations and tasks also attract older volunteers, and that the best way to catch their attention is through word-of-mouth. This is the case for organisations with an advocacy role, as, for example, pensioners' organisations in Sweden, in France and in Italy, or of those carrying out some kind of cultural and recreational activity. Chapter Six reports Europe's perhaps most interesting and structured case of a specifically designed organisational effort to involve older volunteers: the UK's Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP), hosted as an independent free-standing programme within the Community Service Volunteers (CSV). This programme involves thousands of volunteers aged 50+ in a wide range of activities. From what has been said, it can be argued that organisations attracting mainly older volunteers may sometimes be ‘reserved’ for older volunteers, for example, pensioners' organisations, or other kinds of organisations involving an exchange with peers, even in the recreational field. In general, however, older people's organisations seem to be present mainly in Italy, France and Sweden. Therefore it is in these countries that individuals may potentially become volunteers for the first time in older age, assuming that those who volunteer for a long time would (p.330) usually continue to do so in the same organisation where they started in previous life stages.

From the evidence emerging from the case studies, it appears that to enable older people to be recruited and retained as volunteers, voluntary organisations seem to deal with three main factors: supply of older volunteers; organisational needs; and capitalising on older volunteers' strengths.

Supply of older volunteers: to plan their future activities, voluntary organisations need to consider individual factors linked to the supply of older volunteers. As already argued, the ageing of the European population and its increased longevity may potentially imply a larger supply of older volunteers. Since there is an EU interest in active ageing policies, this might mean that this increased supply may be better exploited to the benefit of the society and of older individuals themselves. These individuals are healthier and better educated, their interests and attitudes are changing, and they want to fulfil their dreams in later life. Furthermore, older people are even more involved in the labour market, and in some countries still strongly involved in informal care of older family members. Yet, as we have seen in the previous section, older volunteers may have specific preferences and motivations, so they need to find the ‘right’ way to meet both individual preferences and organisational needs.

Organisational needs: evidence from the case studies shows that the main needs of voluntary organisations are to maintain and possibly improve the quality of their work and to ensure the services they provide, and voluntary organisations know that older volunteers may help a lot in meeting both these needs. To cope with this situation, voluntary organisations may rely on two (even concurrent) strategies: on the one hand, asking for help from policy makers; on the other, investing themselves in older volunteers. As seen in Chapter Thirteen, voluntary organisations mainly ask policy makers for the following: to provide more visibility to the voluntary work of older people; stronger recognition and political perception of voluntary work; improved access to information on volunteer opportunities in older age; specific volunteer programmes for older volunteers that can be sustained over time; and interventions to reinforce the positive link between work for the labour market and volunteering, by supporting employee volunteer programmes. All this, however, is taking place in the light of an economic crisis which means, on the one hand, a growing call for voluntary action in service provision and, on the (p.331) other, less funds for the voluntary sector overall. In particular, this latter cruciality obviously affects voluntary organisations involved in service provision (see Chapter Twelve).

This brings us to the conclusion that the real challenge for organisations is represented by their capacity for investing in and exploiting the voluntary older workforce. Yet voluntary organisations often seem to be mainly concentrated in fulfilling their own aims in the short term, without sufficient capacity to think of their management in the long term, and without using appropriate in-depth analyses. They are, however, aware that, to maintain or improve the quality of their services, they need more professional and competent (older) volunteers, and this may also involve some kind of organisational barriers to volunteering in older age. In a context of growing professionalisation, voluntary organisations may indeed tend to solve work problems by favouring the use of paid staff rather than referring to older volunteers. Other barriers may derive from a distorted perception of social changes experienced by older people: as seen in Chapter Twelve, some organisations think that an increasing involvement of older people in the labour market might be negative for their propensity to volunteering, despite wage work being positively associated with volunteering (at least, in terms of participation, if not of intensity). As a consequence (as illustrated in Chapter Thirteen), some organisations may be rather passive in approaching potential older volunteers, since general external aspects are considered as decisive, and they do not feel motivated to try to solve the recruitment problem.

Capitalising on older volunteers' strengths: a quite different model (as indicated in Chapter Eleven) is that proposed by some organisations, which are concretely doing something to support older volunteers by explicitly capitalising on them. These organisations recognise that older volunteers have several strengths: they are highly experienced and with specific knowledge related to their former work career; they are reliable; they are available, also in terms of time; they have social skills; and they are highly committed. In light of this recognition, several voluntary organisations have thus implemented initiatives to capitalise on older volunteers: some, mainly composed of younger volunteers, implemented, more or less formally, measures to recruit older volunteers, for example, by establishing a ‘group on the accessibility to volunteering’; by sending letters to older members asking for their interests in volunteering (and creating activities accordingly); or by aiming for a more age-balanced composition. Even if, in general, (p.332) most voluntary organisations do not seem to be ready to fully exploit older volunteers' potential, we have seen that some organisations have begun to structure their activity by trying to improve older volunteers' experience and to maintain their commitment. This is done by planning five main strategic directions (see Chapter Eleven for more details), based on the following:

  • more intergenerational exchange between volunteers;

  • more training to improve skills;

  • more flexible voluntary work (through facilitated readmissions when wished, or scheduling tasks by taking into account new needs), to meet the potential new needs of older volunteers in terms of changing interests, the need to care for a relative or as a grandparent;

  • redeployment, for instance, by creating new activities to deal with older volunteers with worsened health conditions or when these volunteers become dependent;

  • an interest for a ‘people engagement cycle’ (Principi et al, 2012b), through an internal global policy starting at the pre-recruitment phase and continuing until volunteers' retainment as supporters, after their withdrawal from active volunteering.

So, the human resources (HR) age management concept –so well known among companies (Naegele and Walker, 2006) –is not widespread, but it is becoming manifest also among voluntary organisations. It is expected to become more common in the future, once voluntary organisations acknowledge that they are able to improve their performance through volunteers' age management, at the same time allowing older people to optimise their opportunities for health, participation and security, and to enhance their quality of life (WHO, 2002).Yet age management strategies may sometimes ‘cross the frontier’ of these positive terms, looking like rather discriminatory practices. A few of these cases were found mainly in some large and professionalised voluntary organisations, with a rather high extent of paid staff, often composed mainly of younger volunteers. These cases prove that sometimes organisations continue to treat older volunteers as ‘outdated’, rather than being willing to invest in the improvement of their skills and capacities, and to exploit their interests and strengths. This is often the case when recruitment processes are too focused on the necessary tasks to be done, rather than on older candidates' preferences and competences, or when older volunteers are reviewed and ‘allowed to reconsider their commitment’.

(p.333) Policies on Volunteering: What is the Impact on Older People's Participation?

At the macro level, public policies may create opportunities or restrictions for the formal volunteering of older people, since they affect individuals' lives and society as a whole, including voluntary organisations and the welfare mix. Public policies are decisive in affecting social dynamics (in the particular case under study, the volunteering of older people), and constitute a key level to activate initiatives able to foster the volunteering of older people in different countries. Thus we can argue that the phenomenon of volunteering in older age is also a result of a specific constellation of policy choices in each country.

In this light, it is certainly useful to analyse the association between activities carried out at the policy level (such as, for instance, laws on volunteering in older age, the policy debate on this issue and funding patterns) and volunteering rates among older people. Other important aspects to scrutinise in order to understand whether policies to sustain the volunteering of older people are effective or rather need improvement are volunteering trends, especially after retirement age (that is, 65 years).

The experience of the social democratic regime (Sweden and Denmark) and of the social democratic-like Dutch regime –where volunteering rates remain stable over time and do not drop after the age of 65 (see Table 14.4) –demonstrates that high and stable rates of self-expressive volunteering can coexist with very limited efforts at the policy level (which in these countries promotes no laws or policies or shows any ‘active’ policy interest in volunteering, at any age, except for funding). In all countries (apart from Poland), volunteering is to some extent funded by the state, even if the recent economic crisis has had a negative affect on the public provision of funds for the voluntary sector. While in Sweden and Denmark public funds seem to be provided mainly for self-expressive volunteering, in the Netherlands it is mainly service-oriented organisations that are fuelled by the state (such as those helping women victims of sexual abuse or similar associations). Since older people usually express a preference for altruistic rather than self-expressive volunteering, this may imply that in Sweden and Denmark public funds may be oriented to support the volunteering of younger rather than older people, even if, as observed earlier, self-expressive voluntary activities have lately been exerting a growing appeal for older volunteers too. (p.334)

Table 14.4: The impact of policies on volunteering in older age in different European welfare regimes

Policies

Volunteering

Regime

Country

Specific laws on volunteering (Y/N)

Special laws on volunteering in older age (Y/N)

Special policies on volunteering in older age (Y/N)

Is volunteering of older people in the current political agenda? (Y/N)

Public funds mainly for volunteering...

Volunteering trenda

Volunteering rate, 65–74

After 65 years (and up to 74 years) volunteering rate...b

Social democratic

Sweden

N

N

N

N

Self-expressive

=

++

Remains quite stable

Denmark

N

N

N

N

Self-expressive

+

+

Remains quite stablec

Social democraticliberal

Netherlands

N

N

N

N

Altruistic

=

++

Remains quite stable

Liberal

UK

Y

N

Y

N

Altruistic

=

+

Remains quite stable

Conservative

Germany

N

N

Y

Y

Altruistic

+

+

Decreases

Conservative-(liberal)

France

Y

N

N

Y

Both typologies

=

+-

Remains quite stable

Mediterranean

Italy

Y

Y

Y

Y

Self-expressive

+

-

Decreases

Post-Socialist-(liberal)

Poland

Y

N

N

N

(no funds granted)

+

-

Decreases

Notes: Information from Part II of this volume; Y = yes, N = no;

(a) If in the last few years the volunteering rate among the population is increasing (+) or rather stable (=);

(b) Whether, when compared to the previous age group, after 65 years the volunteering rate decreases, increases or remains the same;

(c) This stability in Denmark is assumed based on the Swedish experience (that is, the two countries belong to the same social democratic regime). This is because data for Denmark are available only for the whole age bracket 66+, showing a decrease of participation rates when compared to the previous considered 50-65 age bracket. But this drop in participation is assumed to be mainly ascribed to a low participation of 75+ individuals, while participation between 66 and 74 years remaining rather stable.

(p.335) As noted above, in Italy and Poland older people's volunteering is less widespread, although showing a growth trend (especially among older Italians), parallel to decreasing rates of participation after 65 years. A further similar characteristic of these two countries is that both have specific laws regulating volunteering. This may mean that, at the policy level, too detailed regulations on volunteering may be confusing and counterproductive to the growth of the voluntary sector, as also evidenced by the opposite experience reported by the social democratic regimes.Yet there are also differences between these two countries. In Poland public funds are unavailable, while in Italy it is mainly self-expressive volunteering that enjoys most of public funds. What is surprising is that, in Italy, low levels of volunteering in older age are linked with considerable attention on this matter at the policy level in terms of special laws and policies to increase volunteering in older age, and a marked current policy interest around volunteering in older age. If we look at this in a positive way, in recent years the volunteering of older people is growing in Italy, and since this apparent strong policy interest is very recent, more concrete positive results of it might be expected in the near future. If we look at this in a negative way, this policy interest expresses mainly intentions, with nothing to ensure that it will turn into more concrete facts.

We have observed that older people volunteer more frequently in the UK rather than in Germany and (especially) in France. However, these countries seem to have some similar characteristics at the policy level, the first being the absence or very limited legislation on volunteering (in England, charitable organisations are just envisaged and defined; in France, the legal framework is very old, dating back to 1901). Yet in the UK the volunteering rates of older people are high and do not decrease after 65 years of age (actually, rates seem to slightly increase). This may be partly due to the considerable extent of public funds made available to support altruistic volunteering, but also and perhaps primarily to a long tradition of policies aimed at promoting the volunteering of older people in the UK. The pattern in Germany seems to have similar characteristics, although volunteering rates seem to decrease after the age of 65, despite policy efforts to support volunteering in older age, and public funds promoting mainly altruistic volunteering. This may be surprising to some extent, but the reason for this could lie in the fact that German policies usually only fund older volunteers' activities for a limited period of time, without a clear idea of how to ensure their sustainability. Furthermore, in some cases policies were interrupted because they had not achieved the expected results in terms of older people's participation (see Chapter Five). In (p.336) France, a country that is characterised by a ‘medium’ participation rate in volunteer activities, volunteering shows a stable trend, and does not decrease after 65 years of age. Public funds are rather high and enjoyed by both altruistic and self-expressive volunteering, but there are no real special policies to involve older people in volunteering. Yet in France there seems to be recent interest at the policy level in increasing the volunteer engagement of older people, although this has not been too effective up to now, as this effort is mainly depicted as ‘communication stunts’ (see Chapter Seven).

Enhancing Volunteering in Older Age in Europe

As we have seen, formal volunteering by older people in Europe depends on the interwoven action of various elements operating at the micro, meso, macro and structural levels. Across countries, high employment rates, widespread de-familialisation and the provision of formal long-term care services are associated with high levels of volunteering. At the same time, however, different welfare systems have led to different situations in single countries. Social democratic, liberal and conservative regimes show higher levels of volunteering by older people than Mediterranean and post-Socialist ones. A first, immediate, question is whether, by acting on some of the elements that we have considered, volunteering by older people may be possibly extended and enhanced, also in countries currently showing a medium or even high level of volunteering rates among older people. This is of primary importance in an active ageing perspective: in this era of growing population ageing, the major European federation of older people's organisations (that is, AGE Platform Europe) is aiming for more recognition and promotion of volunteering activities in later life (AGE, 2007), to the benefit of older individuals in terms of self-fulfilment and social integration, and of society overall.

So, under what circumstances can volunteering by older people be enhanced? At a meso level, our study delivers a cross-cutting message to European voluntary organisations deriving from the results of the case studies, as well as some country-specific considerations at a policy level, which are summarised below.

With regards to voluntary organisations, if they want to activate older people to volunteer in the future, it is fundamental for all countries (but also for policy makers) to carefully consider the current and future cohorts of older volunteers, with their large spectrum of different motivations and dispositions, who are and will be attracted not only by altruistic activities in health and social services, but also (p.337) by self-expressive, recreational and educational tasks and interests. Furthermore, to properly ‘ride the wave’ of European demographic trends, this should be considered a priority by voluntary organisations carrying out self-expressive activities. Voluntary organisations should be aware that, by considering the preferences and motivations of older volunteers, they will benefit from the strengths they recognise in older volunteers themselves: lots of experience and knowledge related to their former work career, high social skills, reliability, availability and commitment.As with companies in the labour market, voluntary organisations should capitalise on older volunteers through age management policies and practices, that is, initiatives designed to combat age barriers, either directly or indirectly, and to provide an environment in which each individual is able to achieve his or her potential without being disadvantaged by their age (Walker and Taylor, 1998, p 3). Age barriers in this sector may be represented by age-biased selection processes or by more or less direct invitations to step aside at a certain age, which is particularly true of large and professionalised voluntary organisations. By adopting an age management approach, voluntary organisations could more properly also deal with the challenges posed by overall decreasing public funds to the voluntary sector.

Moreover, voluntary organisations may have a distorted interpretation of social changes. For example, some of them consider a longer working life a threat for volunteering by older people, although the contrary seems to be true. Voluntary organisations may then see companies as competitors, rather than as potential partners, through the establishment of employee volunteer programmes (or corporate volunteering, or employer-supported volunteering). These programmes are seldom implemented in Europe, the UK being the more advanced country in this regard. Nevertheless, in light of the evidence emerging from North America, these programmes should be considered as important tools to introduce voluntary activities to older workers. Appropriate information should therefore be granted to voluntary organisations, in order to help them better understand how they can best benefit from such programmes.

The latter suggestions should actually also be addressed to national policy makers, who of course represent crucial actors in tackling the challenges emerging in this area. Thus, the comparative approach embodied by our study allows us at this stage to summarise these main policy challenges, which are likely to be faced by different European countries to enhance volunteering in older age in the future. Keeping in mind the huge complexity characterising this topic, and in light of the conceptual framework employed and of the reported findings (p.338) (recapitulated in Table 14.5), we can state that in Italy and Poland the main challenge is how to increase participation rates not only in the volunteer sector, but also in the labour market, through employment policies able, among other things, to also develop part-time opportunities for those who are unemployed (since, as we have seen, this is also beneficial to volunteering). In both countries the labour market participation of both older people and women is expected to increase, due to the recent raising of retirement age and its planned levelling for both genders, but the gap compared to most European countries remains considerable. A greater commitment to pursue de-familialisation –another factor associated with volunteering –might also be desirable in these two countries, through the already mentioned extension of part-time work and also by improving and rationalising long-term care provision (as current financial constraints make it unrealistic to aim at increasing the resources to be spent in this sector, at least in the short term). However, the existence of too detailed special regulations on volunteering in both countries may prevent this sector from growing. Furthermore, while in Italy policies on the volunteering of older people are very recent and, at least so far, not very effective on older people's social behaviour, in Poland more interest and policies are needed around the issue of volunteering in older age than what has occurred so far.

Compared to Southern and Eastern European countries, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands seem to be in a rather privileged position,

Table 14.5: Main areas of policy challenges for volunteering in older age in Europe

Regime

Country

Employment rates

Formal care and care benefits

Laws on volunteering

Policies supporting older volunteers

Social democratic

Sweden

x

Denmark

x

Social democratic liberal

Netherlands

x

Liberal

UK

x

Conservative

Germany

x

x

Conservative-(liberal)

France

x

x

x

Mediterranean

Italy

x

x

x

x

Post-Socialist-(liberal)

Poland

x

x

x

x

(p.339) thanks to their well-developed welfare state and the relative wealth of service provision deriving from it. Yet in these countries no specific policies seem to exist to directly enhance the volunteering of older people per se (but only as volunteering in general), so this issue is not in the national political agendas, despite EU calls for strengthening national active ageing policies. This seems to suggest that the volunteering of older people in these countries could perhaps be enhanced further, by acting at the policy level with measures more directly addressing older volunteers as such. In the United Kingdom, a call for more long-term care services emerged from our study, as a possible sign of demand not being fully satisfied in this area, with a supposed negative impact on the propensity to volunteer by older people. It can therefore be expected that, by improving long-term care service provision, volunteering by older UK citizens might also be stimulated, although this cannot be considered a priority in today's UK political agenda. In Germany and France one of the main challenges is likely to be related to the poor effectiveness and sustainability of policies to promote volunteering by older people, as current measures do not seem to be effective enough in this respect. In both countries, similarly to that observed for the UK context, volunteering in older age might also benefit from an improvement in the provision of formal care services, particularly in the home care sector (Rodrigues et al, 2012). In France, an additional positive effect might come from interventions aimed at promoting the employment of older workers and part-time opportunities for currently unemployed older adults.

We cannot conclude this volume without mentioning its several limitations and calls for future research. One of these is that, at the individual level, we have studied how the choice to become an older volunteer is socially structured, leaving out from our investigation a more specific focus on aspects such as the intensity of volunteering in terms of time or frequency. In addition, a more structured cross-country comparison of the multidimensional phenomenon of individual motivations to volunteer in older age (Clary et al, 1998) should be strengthened, due to a substantial lack of large and comparable datasets on this aspect. Moreover, while we are fully aware that older people are a non-homogeneous group, we have mainly concentrated on the younger-old group, whereas it is necessary to study volunteering more in-depth when physical or health limitations can arise, that is, particularly after 75 years of age. Furthermore, longitudinal aspects are not included in this study, thus future investigations on these aspects are needed to better understand the long-term dynamics of volunteering along the life course. Another (p.340) main limitation deriving from the chosen research methodology is that the findings emerging from the case studies carried out at the organisational level cannot be generalised at a country level, so, even if it was possible to grasp the main aspects of volunteering in older age in organisations, we were not able to provide clearer country-specific indications concerning voluntary organisations. Despite these limitations, this volume represents to the best of our knowledge the first organic attempt at explaining volunteering by older people in Europe in its complexity and at different levels of analysis. Thus we hope that it might contribute to establish a solid starting point for future comparative research on this topic.

References

Bibliography references:

AGE (2007) Healthy ageing: Good practice examples, recommendations, policy actions, Brussels: The European Older People's Platform.

Anttonen, A. and Sipilä, J. (1996) ‘European social care services: is it possible to identify models?’, Journal of European Social Policy, vol 6, no 2, pp 87–100.

Archambault, E. (1996) The non-profit sector in France, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Bambra, C. (2004) ‘The worlds of welfare: illusory and gender blind?’, Social Policy and Society, vol 3, no 3, pp 201–11.

Bambra, C. (2007) ‘Defamilisation and welfare state regimes: a cluster analysis’, International Journal of Social Welfare, vol 16, no 4, pp 326–38.

Clary, E.G., Snyder, M., Ridge, R.D., Copeland, J., Stukas, A.A., Haugen, J. and Miene, P. (1998) ‘Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: a functional approach’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol 74, no 6, pp 1516–30.

Da Roit, B. and Le Bihan, B. (2010) ‘Similar and yet so different: cash-for-care in six European countries’ long-term care policies’, Milbank Quarterly, vol 88, no 3, pp 286–309.

Di Rosa, M., Melchiorre, M.G., Lucchetti M. and Lamura G. (2012) ‘The impact of migrant work in the elder care sector: recent trends and empirical evidence in Italy’, European Journal of Social Work, vol 15, no 1, pp 9–27.

Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The three worlds of welfare capitalism, Oxford: Polity Press.

Eurobarometer (2007) Health and long-term care in the European Union, Special Eurobarometer 283/Wave 67.3 –TNS Opinion&Social(ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_283_en.pdf).

(p.341) Eurostat (2013) Employment –Labour Force Survey adjusted series(t_lfsi_emp) (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics/search_database).

Fenger, H. (2007) ‘Welfare regimes in Central and Eastern Europe: incorporating post-communist countries in a welfare regime typology’, Contemporary Issues and Ideas in Social Sciences, vol 3, no 2, pp 1–30.

Ferrera, M. (1996) ‘The “southern” model of welfare in social Europe’,Journal of European Social Policy, vol 6, no 1, pp 17–37.

Fischer, L.R. and Schaffer, K.B. (1993) Older volunteers: A guide to research and practice, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Geissler, B. and Pfau-Effinger, B. (2005) ‘Change of European care arrangements’, in B. Pfau-Effinger and B. Geissler (eds) Care arrangements in Europe –Variations and change, Bristol: Policy Press, pp 3–19.

Giarini, O. (2009) ‘The four pillars, the financial crisis and demographics –Challenges and opportunities’, The Geneva Papers, vol 34, no 4, pp 507–11.

Holden, C. (2003) ‘Decommodification and the workfare state’, Political Studies Review, vol 1, no 3, pp 303–16.

ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) (1997) ‘Work Orientations II’, Mannheim: ISSP (www.gesis.org/issp/issp-modules-profiles/work-orientations/1997).

Lewis, J. (1992) ‘Gender and the development of welfare regimes’,Journal of European Social Policy, vol 2, no 3, pp 159–73.

McCloughan, P., Batt, W.H., Costine M. and Scully, D. (2011) Participation in volunteering and unpaid work. Second European Quality of Life Survey, Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

Morrow-Howell, N. (2007) ‘A longer worklife: the new road to volunteering’, Generations, vol 31, no 1, pp 63–7.

Morrow-Howell, N., Hinterlong, J. and Sherraden, M. (eds) (2001)Productive ageing: Concepts and challenges, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Naegele, G. and Walker, A. (2006) A guide to good practice in age management, Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

Pfau-Effinger, B., Flaquer, L. and Jensen, P.H. (eds) (2009) Formal and informal work:The hidden work regime in Europe, New York and London: Routledge.

Pierson, P. (1993) ‘Policy feedback and political change’, World Politics, vol 45, no 4, pp 595–628.

(p.342) Principi, A., Lindley, R., Perek-Bialas, J. and Turek, K. (2012b) ‘Volunteering in older age: an organizational perspective’, International Journal of Manpower, vol 33, no 6, pp 685–703.

Principi, A., Lamura, G., Sirolla, C., Mestheneos, L., Bien´, B., Brown, J., Krevers, B., Melchiorre, M.G. and Döhner, H. (2012a) ‘Work restrictions experienced by midlife family caregivers of older people: evidence from six European countries’, Ageing & Society.

Rodrigues, R., Huber, M. and Lamura, G. (eds) (2012) Facts and figures on healthy ageing and long-term care,Vienna: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.

Salamon, L.M. and Anheier, H.K. (1998) ‘Social origins of civil society. Explaining the non-profit sector cross-nationally’, Voluntas, vol 9, no 3, pp 213–48.

Schwartz, S.H. (2008) ‘Causes of culture: national differences in cultural embeddedness’, in A. Gari and K. Milonas (eds) Quod erat demonstrandum. From Herodotus’ ethnographic journeys to cross-cultural research, Athens: Atrapos Editions, pp 1–11.

Stephens, J.D. (1996) ‘The Scandinavian welfare states: achievements, crisis and prospects’, in G. Esping-Andersen (ed) Welfare states in transition. National adaptation in global economies, London: Sage Publications, pp 32–65.

Walker, A. (2002) ‘A strategy for active ageing’, International Social Security Review, vol 55, no 1, pp 121–39.

Walker, A. (ed) (2011) The future of ageing research in Europe: A road map, Sheffield: University of Sheffield.

Walker, A. and Taylor, P. (1998) Combating age barriers in employment: A European portfolio of good practice, Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Warburton, J. and Cordingley, S. (2004) ‘The contemporary challenges of volunteering in an ageing Australia’, Australian Journal on Volunteering, vol 9, no 2, pp 67–74.

Warburton, J. and Jeppsson-Grassman, E. (2011) ‘Variations in voluntary association involvement by seniors across different social welfare regimes’, International Journal of Social Welfare, vol 20, no 2, pp 180–91.

WHO (World Health Organization) (2002) Active ageing: A policy framework, Geneva: WHO.