In this article, we examine varied attitudes and practices toward volunteering in later life, as shared by a group of 40 retired women. We categorize women based on their engagement in retirement and label the categories according to societal expectations as follows: traditional volunteers as "good," nonvolunteers as "bad," and caregiving volunteers as "unrecognized." Using critical gerontology and a feminist framework, we juxtapose the lived experiences of retired women with a prevailing discourse on successful aging and civic engagement. We advocate for societal recognition of caregiving as a valuable form of volunteering, as well as the need to respect multiple ways in which older women experience and find meaning in later life.
- Civic engagement