I love my elders, when they can deign to find the time to perform the function. I had not father, and my maternal grandfather was thusly my young "male role model". My only true goal in life is to grow old with enough stories under my belt to keep the grandkids entertained indefinately.
So, what is an elder, to me?
An elder is an individual who has the wisdom and knowledge of a lifetime behind them, but because of age are unable to fill the roles they once did. For example, an old hunter may know more about tracking than any of the young, but is no longer physically up to the hunt. So, their role changes from acting on their knowledge to passing that knowledge down. They also care for the young while those in their prime go out to "work."
Their overall function is to educate the young, sharing their knowledge so it does not pass from the world, and leaving those in their prime to concentrate on their tasks without having to spend time teaching themselves.
In a rewilding sense, eventually elders will be the backbone of a tribes education. But in the current, experimental phase, there are few people who can teach us what we wish to know, and no multi-generational tribe culture to pass down. In essence, we have no elders. ( I speak to generally. I have discovered no elders).
But we should all be prepared, in our future, to act as elders when our time comes. It will be generations before humanity is anything close to rewilded, but what we learn today is the inheritance we will pass on to the next generation.