Name: Lorna
Age at interview: 87
Gender: Female

Lorna is 87 years old and lives on her own in a major rural town in Victoria. She is a retired dressmaker and still sews. She is Anglo-Australian and a practicing Anglican. Lorna is widowed and has two adult children and a number of grandchildren.

More about Lorna

Lorna feels she has reasonably good health for her age, for which she credits her good diet. The main issue with growing older is that she tires more easily, but she manages this by arranging just one thing to do each day and having regular help with maintaining the house. Arthritis and weakness in her back mean that she now gets about with a 'wheelie' walker. She can do everything she wants to do because she has the 'wheelie', including gardening, shopping, cooking and going on outings. Lorna says her 'wheelie' keeps her independent. This is extremely important to her, as she has always done things for herself, as well as contributed to family life. Even when her husband was earning a wage, she sewed from home to bring in a small income. Lorna still sews every day; she made friends through her sewing and had great fun. While Lorna has many friends, she has noticed in recent years how many have passed away. She has learned to accept this as nothing can be done to change it and she is grateful for 'the privilege of living'. She still sees her friends as often as she can and has her girlfriends around every Saturday afternoon.

Maintaining these interests are, in Lorna's view, vital to ageing well. Music is also a very important part of Lorna's life and has been since she was young. She now sings in the choir of the University of the Third Age (U3A). Lorna has been a member of U3A for 26 years and previously took classes in philosophy and Australian history, between caring for her husband and sewing. Lorna also attends church most Sundays, although she does not believe the doctrine is the most important aspect of Christianity. She describes her religious beliefs as 'a simple faith' that gives her a feeling of security. She credits her religious upbringing with instilling a certain discipline, honesty and kindness towards others.

Lorna is exceptionally proud of her children and grandchildren, who have all graduated from university. She was very involved in her grandchildren's lives when they were small and she feels they have respect for her now that she is older. Lorna is mindful that her children have their own lives to lead in Melbourne, but she nonetheless hears from them every week and she enjoys seeing them regularly.

Lorna hopes that she will be able to stay in her own home and pass away there with dignity, as her husband was fortunate to do. She would like to live to see 90 years of age, but only if she maintains her quality of life. Lorna likes waking up in the morning and thinking about who she is going to see that day; for her, every day that she has her health is a bonus.