Age at interview: 75
Barrie is a Doctoral candidate and a retired school teacher and adult educator. He is 75 years old and is Caucasian Australian. He lives with his wife Helen B (who we also interviewed) in rural New South Wales. He has four adult children and several grandchildren.
More about Barrie
Barrie has found that, the older he gets, the more he realises that ageing is a highly individual and unique experience. He has a direct understanding of this from his involvement in the University of the Third Age as a participant and a volunteer and through his membership of a men's Probus club. This has made him more aware of how the ageing process will impact him, such as what it might mean if he and his wife lose their driver's licenses and what that will mean for their participation in the community and life in general. Barrie does little driving himself due to tendonitis in his shoulders and, as he drove so much during his working years, he is quite happy not to drive. He has enjoyed good general health otherwise and has had positive experiences with local health services.
Now that Barrie and Helen's children are adults, they are considering downsizing to a smaller house with less garden to manage. Barrie is finding the process of 'downsizing' their belongings a significant challenge. Given his awareness of the possibility of no longer driving, transport is a major consideration for where he and his wife move to next.
Although Barrie is technically retired, he applies for small projects occasionally out of interest and to bring in a little extra money to supplement their superannuation and pension. He found this particularly helpful in his first year of retirement, as he had made few formal plans and a number of things he wanted to do were not possible. Barrie fondly recalls his career in education as being 'all about people' whereas the focus is now on technology, which he finds more impersonal.
Now that his PhD is nearly complete, Barrie is thinking about researching the Australian contribution to country music and documenting this history for local museums. As his grandchildren grow up and do new and interesting things, he is looking forward to watching their lives unfold.