Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone spoke on helping the old at the Friday afternoon session of the April 1974 General Conference. It was a very Mormon talk. It had throat-catching personal stuff, and a little chastisement, and some practical programmatic advice. I loved it. I love the Saints and the way they are.
Two things caught my eye.
First, the responsibility rests with the individual to do all he or she can to be a contributing member of society and of the Church, and give service to friends and children and loved ones. All these give soul satisfaction so needed. When health is sufficient to warrant, the Church provides many blessed opportunities for great service. The rich experience of these loved ones can be of such importance to the Church.
Many can accept calls as couples to fill full-time missions. Others may be called upon to officiate in the temples. Some may visit the temple regularly to do endowment work. Genealogical research is fascinating, stimulating, and fulfilling. Many can and should be called to teach Primary, Sunday School, and Relief Society. Our youth love mature Saints as teachers because they have time to care. Bishops may call the brethren to be home teachers and the sisters to do Relief Society visiting teaching.
Inasmuch as home teaching is never finished, many long-living men may help truly teach us by example what home teachers really should be.
In other words, one of the main problems of the aged is feeling unwanted and unneeded. My guess is that being able to teach and minister to others actually helps us stay healthier longer when we are old. Doing good is therapy.
Now, second, the family should do all they can do. Those who have mothers and fathers who are confined should care for them by furnishing those soul needs such as love, care, and tenderness.
Demographers wrangle about why people do and do not have kids. But they do not quarrel about social security programs. Those programs drop birth rates about .5 children.
But social security programs, even if they work, only take care of the finances. How many of us would accept financial security at the price of being friendless and miserable? Family and good family relationships is what will keep you company when you are very old.