Old people no longer maintain their role as persons whose experience could illuminate the problems of everyday life. They no longer advise or counsel with a clear sense of future needs, because the uniquely shifting life-styles of the present day give them glimpses of the future which they view with shock and revulsion, and in which they are unable to discern any relationship with their past experiences. The result is that they attempt to avoid the future: they become immobilized, sometimes even liabilities, rather than the possible resource to the community which is virtually essential for a healthy society.
Older people no longer see themselves as essential members of society, as a necessary part of the functioning whole. They are influenced by the current trend to evaluate people by their ability to produce economically beneficial goods, and fail to see life in its realistic, historical perspective as a common, corporate venture. When they retire from a lifetime of production they feel useless, alone and impotent in their solitary state.
Grandmothers may be very busy but they do not have important roles in the family decision-making process; young marriages dissolve because they have been unable tap the underlying wisdom behind the stability of older families.