Lot of questions about how older people did, or how younger cope with everything in that period.
If we talk about older again it comes to the fact how many people they had around them, i mean did they spent that time in the group, alone, or just with spouse. And again it comes to their skills.
Older people during SHTF
It was not about “they are old and they are not strong, so we do not need them”. Not in my case. Everyone was needed. The question “how older and very young people did during SHTF?” is to wide. Easiest answer would be that they did like everybody else. Not well, life was hard.
During my trip out of the town, over that mountain, to get some stuff, one of the most important persons in the group was men in his 70ies, he was not strong, he was not powerful, he was old grumpy dude. But his value was in fact that he was something like tracker, scout and in same time guy who knows how to handle horses. In group of strong armed men without too much rules that old guy was something closest to a leader, because nobody of us had a clue about horses and about winter in the mountain.
That old man knew both things, mountain and horses, and he had value because of that.
Inside town, in my group, one of my family members was a old guy who was during 2. world war fredoom fighter. He fought against Germans and Italians, was wounded couple of times, had bunch of medals (another older guy from my group fought on Nazi side but this is another story).
Before SHTF nobody paid too much attention to his stories about terrible time during his fight in WWII, i mean we all respected him, but younger folks in my family even made jokes with him when he started with his stories, we were like ” oh s..t there he goes again how he ate leafes in the woods and fought Italians” or we always joked with him because he never wanted to watch war movies, his medals were shiny things, without some meaning for us.
His stories about hiding, hunger, killing were like fairy tales, jokes almost.
But guess what? Few years later when SHTF suddenly we started to pay attention on him, we had some questions for him, what he ate in that bad time? How he hide from enemy? Did he use some traps? How bad was it? On what way he killed enemy?
Or other example: what do you think how many young people in their 20s know something about natural remedies, herbal cures. Not too many, but some old ladies in my region know that stuff, obviously they become important. Nobody called them “superstitious old folks” like before SHTF.
I do not know are you following what i am trying to say here. But my point is that everybody had hard time in that period, young and old. Age did not matter much, only how useful a person was.
So instead of power some of the old people had enough brain and experience, knowledge to be equally important as young and strong people.
Again, of course old smart and expirienced guy, who was alone, did not have too much chance.
But being old and member of group, i do not see that as a bad thing. Knowledge and skills are the key. And i do not see strength and gun as the only important skills for some future SHTF scenario.
Children during SHTF
But just like in normal times kids are most important things, we all do everything that we need to do for our kids today. People did everything that they need to do for their kids in that time too. Everything.
Just like kids are most important thing in life of the parents in normal time, it is same in very bad time. Some usual things were pushed away sometimes, so most important thing was to keep the kids safe. I guess proper techniques of raising kids are hard to obtain when you must be ready in almost every moment to run, shoot, kill, when your first worry is to stay warm, or find food on some funny ways.
It was impossible to maintain some level of “schooling” for school age kids, i mean even if you had time to do that, you just spend it on some more important things. So basically, in most of the families, groups, houses or whatever kids were most important thing in meaning of keep them safe, but for everything else were not enough time, chance, or good will sometimes.
So obviusly those things left some traces on kids from that period. Lot of troubled young man grow up from those kids. Not to mention fact that some of the teenagers from that time learned that human life can be taken easy.
So if you had kids in that time, and you keep eye on them, covered them not only from physical danger but also from dangerous new meaning of life, those kids had some chance in future life to be normal persons, husbands, fathers, doctors whatever.
But if you protected them physically but let them watch and listen to everything that happened around them, they learned some things the wrong way too.
I know some kids from that time, they survived everything, they grow up. Most of those kids became good husbands and fathers, we can call them normal men. They do not remember too many things from that period, their parents made sure they do not witness too bad stuff.
I also know another kid from that period, he was something around 10 years old in that period, his father learned him some things in that time, to make him strong man, he sometimes showed him how people killed people. That kid grow up and become drug dealer, with many deaths on his hands.
I guess he learned in his young age that human life can be taken in order to obtain some things and carried on with that idea.