Studies on ageing focus mainly on the social, psychological and health problems or institutionalizations. Their contributions to the household - economic or non-economic - failed to receive attention. This work is an attempt, apart from health and living environment, from a survey of Ernakulum and Kozhikode districts - 12 villages and 4 urban divisions. Health dimensions namely, perceived heath status, comparative health status, incidence of illness in the year and current heath status are assessed. Rheumatism, blood pressure, breathing trouble and upper tract infections are the most common illnesses. Nearly three-fifths of the elderly are economically capable, of whom two-thirds contributed to household expenditure. Proportion of contributors are high among males. Ageing is considered as a problem by nearly half of the elderly due to physical, financial or psychological reasons. Perceptions are based on engangements in familial/religious matters, relatives or friends, status as head of the household and decision making. No doubt "elderly do make both economic and service contributions".