Name: Lan
Age at interview: 71
Gender: Female

Lan was born in Malaysia to Chinese-Malaysian parents and immigrated to Australia with her husband in 1969. She is 71 years old and is a retired pharmacist. Lan lives on the South Coast of New South Wales with her husband and one son. She has two adult children.

More about Lan

Because Lan is so busy with her family and her community, she rarely thinks about growing older. This changed when she had a back operation some years ago, which prompted her retirement and 'jolted' her awareness that she was not as young as she once was. However, she is an optimistic person and she applies this to the ageing process as well. She has very few health concerns and they are only minor. She attributes this to positive thinking and a traditional Chinese diet high in vegetables and low in fat, sugar and salt.

Lan is involved in her local Chinese Association which she attends every week. She also accompanies groups on outings to act as interpreter and organises weekly activities. When she is on her own, Lan reads a great deal and enjoys cooking. She travels overseas with her family and they visit Malaysia and Singapore at least every two years to visit extended family. Lan has many friends of both Chinese and Caucasian backgrounds. She feels that her relationships with her Chinese friends are particularly close. Her friends mean a great deal to her and they are part of her extended family. She and her husband spend a lot of their time with friends who live locally.

Lan and her husband are in discussion about what to do with their family home. She would like to downsize to a smaller unit, but her husband loves having a large garden. She has emphasised to her sons that if she ever needs to be in a nursing home, they should arrange it and not feel guilty about it. Lan intends to be cremated in the Chinese-Malaysian tradition which also means her sons will not be burdened by having to tend her grave.

Lan believes she is more tolerant of people's views and is not as quick to rush in to correct them with her own opinions; she listens more now that she is older. She believes in the importance of being good to people and not hurting them. She says that when you are good to people, it is not necessary for them to repay or reward you, but to pass it on to others instead; this is the legacy she would like to leave her children.