Age at interview: 70
Colleen is 70 years old and lives in rural New South Wales with her husband where they run a farm. She is also a local government councilor and a long-serving volunteer. She is Anglo-Australian and has two children and a number of grandchildren.
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More about Colleen
Colleen has lived in the country for 35 years where she has been closely involved with the community. She has been a councilor in local government for 17 years and a volunteer in the care of the frail aged, people with disabilities and children for 50 years. She is also a long-standing member of the Country Women's Association (CWA). Colleen receives tremendous respect from her community for her contributions. She spends quite a lot of time with her grandchildren, which brings her great joy. She also has other interests, such as scrapbooking and group dinners.
Colleen likes to keep busy and focus on others; she credits this with the relatively easy transition to her older years. She and her husband have also worked hard together and have respected each other's pursuits, so they have built a life that is comfortable financially and allows them to help their children.
Colleen has regular, annual check-ups to maintain her health and she will seek medical assistance to manage health problems as they arise. She feels it is important to keep private health insurance into her older years so that problems can be addressed straight away. Her town is well-serviced in healthcare as the CWA has campaigned successfully for this and the area is wealthy from consistently good conditions for farming. Colleen says she could do more exercise, but she is active enough just from living her life.
Keeping up with technology is vital for active participation in the organisations Colleen is associated with and she also feels it is an essential tool for older people. Colleen says she learned how to use technology 'the hard way', but she is actively maintaining these skills by putting together online pages of photos for her local CWA and other groups.
Colleen has seen the value of having the participation of older members of the community in the various causes in which she is involved and she feels the knowledge and experience that comes with age cannot be underestimated. She consequently believes that age should never be a barrier to living a full life. Colleen intends to stay in her own home as long as possible, enjoy everything around her and make the best of every day.