Age at interview: 80
Richard is 80 years old and is a retired TAFE teacher and Head of department. He is Australian-born and lives with his wife in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. He has four adult children and eight grand-children.
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More about Richard
Richard has found ageing to be a gradual process and he and his wife can still do most of the things they have always done. He finds that older people are generally treated well and he has a lot of respect for people who work in the ageing field.
Richard is aware of the importance of exercise and tries to walk every day. However, he has reduced mobility due to a neurological condition and uses a walking stick when he gets around, including when he walks the dog. He has had problems in the past with his kidneys and bladder and currently has hypertension, but these are managed with medication which he monitors closely.
Richard went from full-time work to full-time retirement and found it 'liberating'. He has a long-standing interest in history and has been able to devote more time to it since he retired. He currently writes for and edits academic journals in an unpaid capacity. Richard gains great reward from this and expects that will be his main occupation as he grows older. He is also quite adept with technology and he likes to 'keep up' with it. He believes he has become less gregarious in his older age, but he and his wife still maintain a small circle of friends in their local area where they have lived for 50 years. They are looking forward to an imminent trip overseas, something they did a great deal of when Richard first retired.
Richard is conscious that he and his wife need to live on less income in retirement, but they have no real financial concerns as they are fairly comfortable. They are trying to downsize from their large family home on acreage as the maintenance is becoming harder for them and they need to rely on outside help. However, they are finding it difficult to settle on something smaller in as nice an environment.
Richard's son passed away in the previous year, which he describes as extremely confronting. His grandchildren now provide Richard with a focus. He and his wife have not yet discussed future plans if one of them dies, but they intend on doing so in the near future.
Richards find the community services that are available to him, particularly health care and transport, the most positive aspect of growing older. He has started to travel more by bus rather than drive and he greatly appreciates this convenience.