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Beyond Economics: Noneconomic Contributions of Elderly

Published on July 11, 2022


S. Irudaya Rajan and U. R. Arya

Realizing the worthy contributions by the elderly helps to construct a society for
all ages. Engagement of elder generation in multiple activities not only benefit the
elderly but also others. But most of the contributions made by the elderly in the
family space and in the community go as invisible just because there is no
monetary value attached to the same. Drawing on quantitative data from
BKPAI (Building Knowledge Base on Population Ageing in India, 2011) and
qualitative data from field studies, this chapter tries to examine the ways in which
older people are involved in various activities through which they benefit others
in their household. Many elderly persons actively engage in caregiving, household-based tasks, and volunteering. Involvement as grandparents and helps in
household matters and as volunteers ensure solidarity between generations and
help to fight against the negative stenotypes associated with old age. This means
that when older generation caters to the needs of the younger generation.
Acknowledging the contributions of elder generation would help to make a
more age-inclusive humanity that does not pit one generation against the other.