What is the role of family, friends and neighbours in assisting one another as we age?

Have you ever given much heed to the thought of what our role is, in taking care of our neighbours, particularly those in need, whether it be elders or those who are sick, frail or don't have others around to support them?  Why is it that we hear about so much variation in how our elders are cared for? I believe there are a few factors at play here. It could be that Canada is such a diverse country with many cultures, values, and backgrounds at play that we see the full spectrum; from those who care for their elders entirely at home with such priority and importance, all the way down  to those at the polar opposite end of the spectrum who "dump and run" once their family member or loved one are in a nursing home.  I also believe it may be that because we live in such a large country, how we care for our seniors may vary between rural areas and urban centres. I know that for me personally, growing up in rural Ontario, you relied on neighbours for assistance and a small close knit community to help each other.  However, now having lived in a large urban city for over 20 years, it may be different.  But is it really?  I know that as our population ages, I foresee that we will need to get better at watching out for our neighbours, assisting those in our communities that need support. The government cannot, nor should they be expected to. We must take some responsibility and do our part where we are able.  We have to get creative.  Step it up. If you have the means, time and energy, help out others who need it.  There are many 'pockets of people' who can help, I am thinking of our youth/teenagers, mum's at home with young children, retirees.  Can we have a win-win here.  I have lots of ideas, what are yours?