My grandfather on my dad’s side lived to be 96 and worked right up to a couple or so years prior to his death. He may not have been able to do much, but he sure did what he could. In fact, I will always remember he fell out of the hay loft at 86 and took a couple of days off before going back to the farm. How many of us today would do anything like that? I remember many times my grandmother Abernathy would, even though she had little, be sure her friends and neighbors had food on the table even if she found it necessary to cut down a little on her own food preparation.
People at this time had the desire to not be on welfare of any type. Many would hide the fact that they in reality had nothing in the cupboard. It was something of a stigma to be in need even if you were not the reason for the problem. It was socially unacceptable to be on welfare, although some even then managed to make the best of it. If you needed something you worked for it. Few things other than the home and car were not paid for when purchased. No credit cards, which I feel are one of the major problems of today. So cash was usually the name of the game for everyone at this time. Society of today is one of credit and that can be something of a problem for some.
There was a feeling of family for most everyone in town and the country. If you got hurt your friends and neighbors came to you to help. If you were a farmer your friends and neighbors would help you with your crops and harvesting, as you would if the sides were changed. People helped each other, some covertly others openly. The attitude and desires of the recipient were foremost. If one was too proud to allow others to know his situation those who could help would honor his wishes, but still help.