Just how valuable are seniors in Canadian society?
A new study has put a dollar figure on the value of volunteerism by Canadian seniors and it’s pegged at a whopping $10.9 billion.
The Revera Report on Aging: Living a Life of Purpose, the 8th report on aging and ageism released Thursday by Revera, one of Canada’s leading owners, operators and investors in the senior living sector, said seniors’ efforts in giving back to their communities is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion raised for charities and other non-profit organizations and nearly $11 billion in economic value generated through their volunteer efforts.
“Seniors make a remarkable contribution to Canada. They are a vibrant, highly relevant part of our communities, from coast to coast,” said Thomas Wellner, President & CEO of Revera in a news release.
“Today’s report illustrates how they are not only active community members, committed to living a life of purpose, but they also feel a sense of responsibility to create a better world for future generations.”
The report said Canadians over the age of 65 volunteer more hours and donate more money to the causes that are important to them than any other age group.
“Seniors built the world that younger generations will inherit, and I can tell you as a senior myself, I care deeply about the future,” said Revera’s Chief Elder Officer, Hazel McCallion. “Older adults are willing and able to continue to make a positive impact in our communities, and I encourage Canadians to welcome and encourage their contributions.”
The Revera national survey of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 65 found:
- Canadians over the age of 65 contributed 42 per cent of all donations, equalling more than $4 billion, with an average donation of $2,500 according to Statistics Canada. This exceeds the national average by 40 per cent;
- Nine in 10 Canadian seniors say they do something to support the charities or causes that are important to them. 82 per cent say they donate money and 37 per cent volunteer their time;
- Volunteers over the age of 65 contribute on average 214 volunteer hours annually, well above the national average of 154 hours per volunteer and they are more likely to be considered a “top volunteer.” Top volunteers are those who are in the top 25 per cent in terms of hours volunteered; and
- 89 per cent of Canadian seniors believe they can play a significant role in working towards solutions to the issues affecting the world and a further 87 per cent agree they are hopeful future generations will make the world a better place.