Old but still useful – experienced and wise
there should never be a total ‘hanging up of the gloves’. While we still have breath, God can use us on earth, provided we make ourselves available. For older believers the emphasis may change from actively ‘doing’ to more concerted praying, besides guiding those who are taking your place in active roles passing on wise and godly insights (Lk 2:36,37; Tit 2:3-5). Whatever our physical age we should be mentoring or advising younger Christians, passing on to them the lessons and insights we have received, enabling them to pick up the challenge and run with it – this in turn will keep us young in spirit if not in body (Josh 23:1-8). The overall plan of God for the people of this world will not diminish or change even when we ease out of things and pass from this life – there is still lots of territory to be taken for the Kingdom of God (Josh 13:1).
Although the health of many older people deteriorates, we don’t need to expect this, and so create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Consider Caleb, who at 85 said, “I am still strong...just as vigorous to go out into battle...the Lord helping me, I will...” (Josh 14:10-12). What a spirit to have! Moses also, was still actively involved in his God-given ministry and in good physical condition when he died (Deut 34:7).
Where there is significant deterioration in physical and mental faculties the Bible says that the extended family should care for the needs of their own members (1 Tim 5:3-8).