Age at interview: 72
Maree is a 72 year old widow. She is the mother of three boys and has eight grandchildren. Maree completed primary school and went on to be a nurse. She has also been a shop owner, truck driver and cleaner. Maree has had two hip replacements and lives in Darwin, Northern Territory.
More about Maree
Maree says that ageing has not been too bad, but there is nothing good about getting old. She used to be very active but now finds she cannot walk very far and it takes her longer to achieve what she used to. After suffering severe mobility problems associated with heavy lifting, Maree had two hip replacements in her 60s. There were complications with the first operation where the back of her bowel was ruptured and she had to be on a bag for 18 months. Maree thought she was going to die, but has since recovered and tries to stay positive because she knows there is always someone worse off than she is.
Maree has smoked cigarettes for many years. She has tried to give up in the past, largely due to the high cost of cigarettes when she is on the pension. However, she feels smoking has not adversely affected her quality of life and it helps to calm her down. Maree moved to a Housing Commission unit 18 months ago and feels it is important that she can spend the rest of her years in her house.
Maree is widowed and recently separated from her partner of 20 years. She is now happy to be by herself. She can rely on her three sons, and even though they do not live in Darwin, they always talk on the phone and would be there if she needed them. Maree feels the most positive thing about growing older is seeing her grandchildren grow up. Maree does not have a large circle of friends. She tends to spend her time in her garden and playing bridge on the computer. She would like to know more about using the internet and is learning about email, Facebook and looking up the news.
A decade ago Maree worked in aged care. She says it is important to treat older people the way you want to be treated. She believes older people are often pushed and bullied, and that care providers should have patience and take the time to look after people, regardless of how many patients they have to see in the day.