The Elderly Not a Burden

“Instead of focusing only on the costs of an older population, it is important to take into account the positive contributions and savings generated by the unpaid work of older people,” states a report published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. “Much of the unpaid work of older people provides support that would be difficult to provide using market-based services .” The study revealed that ‘Australians aged ove r 65 years contribute almost $39 billion [$27 billion, U.S.] per year. [to society] in unpaid caring and voluntary work.” Such volunteer activities include caring for children and nursing sick adults, as well as domestic work. Such unpaid labor, the authors point out, can act as a social “glue” that helps bind society together.” Its value cannot be measured only in dollars and cents.

AWAKE Magazine. January 8, 2005.

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