Despite the economic and political transitions, slowly recovering birth rate and low life expectancy in 2016 older people are predicted to constitute a quarter of total population (24.8%) in Russia. People considered old now and getting old soon are 'children of the Soviets', which means they've inherited lack of personal initiative, little understanding of the concept of volunteering, and paternalistic views that the State must provide all for people. Younger older people (60-69) reveal the same patterns of very low civic engagement as the rest of the population (4-4.5%), naturally the rate drops further for older ages. However, older people volunteer more frequently than others for particular organizations such as veterans' unions, local communities and condominiums' baords and committees, religious organizations. This role is supported by public expectations that older people're engaged with their families and homes only (63%), 28% believe they are a burden, however 42% think they're a resource. A number of nonprofits do offer a range of volunteer opportunities for older people.
Developed countries are facing an urgent problem of population aging. How can we overcome social and economic consequences of aging processes?
This article discusses an important issue of older people’s image in the modern world. The authors’ research results demonstrate that perceptions of older people in Russia are quite controversial, but overall are rather negative. Poverty, inadequacy to the modern world (both in terms of life experience and adaptability to the modern life style), passiveness and concentration on the family and home were reported by the respondents as qualities most typical for older people. However, these perceptions change towards more positive ones while talking about older people they know closely and expectations towards their own older age appear to be more of active ageing, active life style.