Age at interview: 93
Fred is 93 years old and lives in an aged care facility in Melbourne. He is a retired chartered accountant and moved to Australia from South Africa with his wife (who has since passed away) in 1992. He has four adult children, three of whom live in Australia.
More about Fred
Fred describes his former job as a chartered accountant as both his work and his hobby. He worked up until the day before he and his wife left Cape Town, when he was 72 years old, to live closer to their daughter in Australia. When his wife passed away, he continued living in their unit for five years before his daughter invited him to live with her and her husband. The arrangement worked very well until Fred became concerned his peripheral neuropathy would make him more dependent on them, which he did not want. He made the decision to move into his current aged care residence and, even though he thinks he may have moved a little too soon, he feels it was the right decision.
Fred believes he is well looked after, the meals are good and he is very happy with the staff. However, he feels that he has given up his independence in that staff control his medication and meals are at set times that do not always suit him. He is in the minority being a male and friendships are developing quite slowly. He is also somewhat disappointed in the activities program. However, Fred's children live close by and he sees a lot of them, which means a great deal to him. When he is not spending time with family, he keeps up with the news, watches sport, takes walks as much as he is able and talks with other residents whom he is getting to know. He has also recently developed more of an interest in classical music.
Fred has a number of health conditions which he associates with older age. He finds the few limitations these conditions pose frustrating, but they are well-controlled with medication and he can do most things for himself. He maintains his health with a good diet and exercise classes. He gave up alcohol two years ago when it began to affect him badly and he still misses red wine. He has found that Australia looks after its older people very well and he has appreciated the services and benefits that are available to him.
Fred has outlived most of his friends from South Africa and he accepts this. He does not fear death in the way people do when they are younger, as it is inevitable. He is happy to take the rest of his life as it comes.