It is important to remember that the death of an older person means the end of an opportunity to tap directly into a lifetime of accumulated knowledge and experience. As we do in a library, so from older adults, we seek wisdom. Grandparents, especially grandmothers, play a major role as supporters within the family setting, both past and present.

The need for caregiving increases with age. Thus older adults need caregivers – whether family or institutional care. Intergenerational caregiving is time-consuming and displays an intensive role that typically includes dimensions of financial assistance and management, companionship, household duties, and emotional support. Then there are intragenerational caregivers – older adults helping older adults.

The majority of older adults in the US and some Western European countries report living independently and being satisfied with their lives. As older adults, it is siblings with whom one shares a common history, thus often giving a sense of security and support. Pets play an important role in the lives of older adults and provide a source for companionship, helping to lessen loneliness. While retirement tends to come inevitably with aging, continuing to work reduced loads is gaining popularity these days.