Name: Charles and Lois
Age at interview: 83 and 82
Gender: Male and female
Charles and Lois are married and live together in Melbourne. Charles is 83 years old and is a retired crew manager; Lois is 82 and is a retired clothing designer. They are of Anglo-Australian background.
More about Charles and Lois
Charles was very active in sports and activities up until he was about 75 years of age. They have both been affected by arthritis, with Charles having a hip replacement. Lois has had some falls and she is on the waiting list for a hip replacement. She takes medication to manage the pain, which can affect her memory and makes her drowsy. They have respite care available to them when they need it, but so far they feel this has not been necessary. The main restriction to Lois' life is that she cannot get into the car and is reliant on the ambulance service to take her to her outpatients' appointments. She appreciates the polite and helpful service she receives from the ambulance officers; both Lois and Charles have had excellent experiences of health care services.
Charles and Lois have lost some close friends recently, which has been sad. They do not see their relatives often as they live around Australia and their travel plans were limited when arthritis took hold. However, they still have many friends and good neighbours in the area where they have lived for 40 years. Charles and Lois intend to stay in their home for as long as possible and they have added extra handrails in the bathroom and the backyard for safety. They have had home help, but found that they could do a more satisfactory job between the two of them. Although Charles would be considered Lois' carer, they do not feel they need the extra money the carer's pension would provide; they find they are managing financially and they do not 'go without'.
Now that Charles cannot play all the sport he used to, he makes use of his amateur radio license to talk to people all over the world. He does not believe in the internet or social networking sites because of privacy and safety concerns, but he likes to keep up with current affairs. Lois used to play squash, do ice-skating, sewing and other needlecrafts but her arthritis has slowed her down and it is taking a lot of energy to manage the pain. She feels grateful that she has a husband who helps around the house and has taken responsibility for cooking. Lois' pain often keeps them indoors at home, but they feel grateful for the full life they have had.