The social engagement of older people in Australia
Aim: This study will examine the social engagement of older people in Australia. Methods: With an ageing population, it is important to know whether people in Australia remain fully engaged in society as they age. Despite studies into aged volunteering, active ageing and ageing in place, the full range and extent of involvement of aged people in general social activities remain unclear. Using descriptive and multivariate analysis of the ABS General Social Survey (2002 and 2006), this study explores the patterns of aged social engagement, in terms of contact, trust and support from and for others, volunteering, and participation in community events. Results: Results suggest that aged people volunteer and are supported by family at rates similar to the rest of the population, but are less likely to support others, be involved in activities, or attend cultural/community events and venues. Conclusion: Aged people maintain strong connections with family and the community, but are at risk of living 'sedentary' lives with reduced engagement in wider community activities.