Name: Tamara
Age at interview: 73
Gender: Female

Tamara is 73 years old and lives with her large family in Melbourne. She has one daughter, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was a senior manager in a chocolate factory in Ukraine and has lived in Australia for 19 years.

More about Tamara

Tamara does not feel she is old, and believes her health status has not changed with age. She feels that her hard work in Ukraine since childhood, as well as her active lifestyle, have positively affected her health. Tamara receives a lot of compliments about her youthful look and people often ask her to share her secret to ageing well. She uses only a bar of soap and believes it is important to not use too many cosmetics. Tamara feels healthy and visits her GP infrequently. In general, she is very satisfied with Australian health care services and is grateful for the interpreter services that are available.

Tamara has no memory problems. She memorises religious poems and reads them in church; she believes that this activity may have preserved her memory. Occasionally, she writes her own poems. Tamara believes that physical activity is vital to maintain good health. She performs a lot of household duties to help her daughter and grandchildren and she likes gardening. She also provided a lot of care for her husband, who recently died at the age of 93. Tamara believes that people do not need to grieve about their dead relatives; they need to provide care for them and make them happy when they are alive. She is a voluntary worker who helps to empty shelves at the local bakery at the end of the day. She also collects unsold bread and distributes it at her church and some retirement villages.

Tamara is extremely thankful to the Australian Government and believes it provides very good care for older people. She is particularly satisfied with the public transport in Australia. She believes the old age pension she receives is sufficient to meet all her needs. She lives economically, and helps many people in Ukraine from her savings. She regularly sends parcels with clothes, shoes and food products to support nursing homes and orphanages in Ukraine. She frequently compares the amount of old age pension people receive in Ukraine with the Australian pension and believes that if she still lived in Ukraine she would be unable to survive long.

Tamara frequently skips breakfasts only because she is very busy. Tamara has no driving license, and she walks a lot. She is concerned about young people that spend their time watching TV, sitting in front of the computer, and consuming sugary drinks. She believes the time is coming when parents will bury their children rather than children bury their parents. Her advice to both young and old people is to work harder and to live for others, not for themselves.