Name: Earl
Age at interview: 79
Gender: Male

Earl is a 79 year old widow with no children. He is a former mechanic and retired when he was 56. Earl lives by himself and has suffered from pneumonia for the last two years. He lives in Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

More about Earl

Earl has had two quadruple heart bypasses, which took him months to recover from. He found he had absolutely no energy and felt dead. He has also suffered from pneumonia for the past two years. Earl thinks it is important to have a strong mind and to keep going, otherwise you end up depressed and in hospital. While he does not do a great deal of exercise, Earl believes in eating plenty of meat and vegetables, particularly greens.

Earl retired at the age of 56. While he enjoyed his work looking after power stations in the bush, he found the transition to retirement easy because as a public servant he felt he was already semi-retired. Four years ago Earl's wife passed away after suffering from emphysema. They tried to have children, but it never eventuated. Earl now feels that he has nobody to keep an eye on him and that worries him. He explains that if he fell and could not get up he would die on the floor and no one would notice.

Earl recently bought a computer and this has opened his eyes to a whole new world. He is amazed at the amount of information on the internet, that he can research anything. At first he felt he was out of his depth. He had never used a keyboard in his life. However, he found out about free computer courses at his local libraries and attended two sessions a week. He now has two computers and is very happy learning about all the things the internet has to offer.

Earl enjoys playing lawn bowls and walking. He still goes fishing and camping with his friends a few times a year. Earl also likes travelling overseas and goes to Southeast Asia on a regular basis. His friend's wife is Thai and while Earl has met a few women, he is not in a serious relationship. He has found that when he travels in Asia, people respect the elderly and children look after their parents.

Earl believes it is important to pursue your interests as you get older. He explains that you can read the paper in 10 minutes and there is nothing on television, so there is no point sitting at home looking at four walls. Earl stays active by getting involved in committees, which helps him meet new people. As he ages, Earl hopes to stay healthy and continue to think positively.