Name: Hans
Age at interview: 89
Gender: Male

Hans is 89 years old and lives on his own in Darwin, Northern Territory. He is divorced and has a daughter and no grandchildren. Hans was born in Holland and has lived in Australia for 63 years. He retired after being retrenched at the age of 59.

More about Hans

Hans has had a hip replacement and problems with his prostate but feels he is healthy and does not take medication. He says it is important not to over-eat and to consume a lot of vegetables at dinner. He also says it is important to rest twice a day. Hans describes ageing as a normal, progressive thing which he did not think much about in his 60s and 70s. As he approaches his 90s, he has started to think more seriously about getting older, particularly the risk of falls. However, he has decided it is best not to think about his age and to focus on looking after himself.

Hans is interested in reading non-fiction, watching historical DVDs, listening to jazz and playing the piano. He says these things keep his mind at ease. Hans has a friend with a computer. He asked him to look up a musician and ended up buying the DVD. He has never been interested in learning about computers because he can already access books as well as videos and tapes of music from the 50s. Hans believes that at his age he cannot do things he did 20 years ago, such as going on holiday. He feels he does not need those types of activities in his life and is not interested in travel anymore.

Hans worked in the hire-purchase department of the same company for 35 years. When he was retrenched at the age of 59 he decided he did not want to work anymore because he was approaching 60 and was too disillusioned about being sacked. He applied for social security and tried not to worry about his situation. As he has grown older he has become accustomed to living on very little and making do with whatever he has. He says that living on the pension has not posed any problems for him because he knows how to economise. He does not waste money or spend too much on alcohol.

Hans moved from Melbourne to Darwin to be closer to his daughter. A big reason for selling his house and moving to Darwin was so his daughter would not have the trouble of going back to Melbourne to settle everything after he dies. Hans says he would do anything for his daughter and that this keeps him alive.