Death at the end of a long-life does not appear to serve the best utilitarian purpose. Why is one to die at the end of a long-life, when one has accumulated the most knowledge, the most wisdom. Essentially when one could be the most useful to society's health, understanding and long-term well-being is when one perishes.
There may seem to be an exception: that where the brain decays and so the elderly lose their wisdom. However, this is just a symptom of bodily and material decay. It still leaves the apparent absurdity with regards to why the material body, in all its parts, must decay when one is the most wise and experienced.
Media appears to be celebrating youth and even emphasizing the excesses of its stupidity as an inverse of this. Veneration of elders no longer has its appeal. This is a mistake and a sign of decay. The reason for this inversion is in two parts with one origin. First, we reject the possibility of truth: if nothing is real, it does not matter what the elders know. Second, we believe at death lies nothingness: out of fear, people hide from old age and want to ignore it.
The secular conservative recognizes the importance of the elderly and can only possibly account for death as an absurd and tragic loss. The mainstream modern takes it a step further into Nihilism and entirely renounces the possibility of truth, hiding in fear from old age.
There is one more possibility, but it is the least accepted in the channels of mainstream discourse. That is the possibility that there is a fundamental religious truth of some kind which accepts an after-life. Only here does the death of the most wise lose its apparent absurdity. Only here does the conservative's veneration for the elderly gain its more important meaning: the elderly, being closest to death, are not only the most experienced and wise, but are also the closest to being united with truth. That is, a higher spiritual meaning and root behind veneration of the elderly.