Old people need other old people, but they also need contact with the young, which increasingly they do not get. A family relationship of great significance for both parties, for example, was once the intimate association between the very young and the very old. Frequently, in past times, they have been left together at home while the able-bodied have gone forth to earn the family living. These old people have protected and instructed the little ones, while the children in turn have acted as the 'eyes, ears, hands and feet' of the old. Care of the young has thus very generally provided the aged with a useful occupation and a vivid interest in life. Such mutual interchange between young and old is disappearing, as old people become more isolated.