When generalising about the older generation, you might be thinking: slowing down or taking up gentler hobbies like bowls or bridge. Think again! Meet five people with a range of activities that show age is truly just a number.
Perry, 75- Bought his own four-seater plane at age 65, after flying for 10 years.
“I was always interested in flying and flew model aeroplanes as a kid. And then I flew a lot as a doctor in helicopters during the Vietnam War. What I like about it is the buzz and the challenge of instrument flying – which is about being able to fly in all weather and at night.”
Still working four days a week as a specialist doctor, he now flies to visit patients in regional areas each month, and flies for fun in between.
His wife, Mandy, aged 72, plays bridge and competitive tennis each week. She’s very active in their garden and walks the dogs each day. “My Dad was still riding a bike to the shops, aged 90, and playing tennis.” Must be in the genes.
Liz and Jack are both 76, living on acreage and keeping busy growing their own vegetables and honey. Jack took up beekeeping again five years ago and produced about 250kg of honey in the past year.
“I got interested in bees when we lived interstate about 50 years ago, and then when we moved out here Liz said, ‘you don’t see many bees around here,’ so I bought some hives in 1986,” he said.
A back problem stopped him from continuing then, but five years ago he bought a new queen and five frames of bees. “Beekeeping is quite physical, so I just changed how I do it. Now I take a spare hive on a trailer attached to the ride-on mower. I remove the full frames one at a time and put them into the empty hive to transport them home. It’s a lot more time-consuming, but I’ve got the time!”
His wife, Liz, is a volunteer teacher’s assistant one day a week at a special high school for migrants and refugees who aren’t yet proficient in English to attend regular school.
“I started this when I was 70, when I was going to learn bridge, but I really prefer this – helping kids who can’t speak English. Some of these kids have been to hell and back and to see them learning, it’s really joyful. I think we get a lot more out of it than they do!”
They both recently attended a Christmas event for their local Men’s Shed, organised by their 82-year-old friend. Who knew retirement could be so busy?
Meanwhile Maggie, 77, and her husband always loved to travel. After he passed away, she was keen to continue going overseas every year.
“I’d always wanted to be fluent in another language and I’d always loved Italian. Then a friend invited me to her house at Lake Como, so I thought I’d learn so I’d be able to order a bottle of vino!”
She’s been learning Italian for two years in a small group where the dux of the class is an 86-year-old and the youngest is 60, and still travelling. “I have an app on my phone so I can practise every day for five minutes, and I’m off to visit friends in Cortona in April. ”
Ageing is an individual process, some may age and be able to defy stereotypes on their own but some may age and need a little help from a home care company to do these things. This is why help exists, it allows you to focus on continuing to live the life you love, doing the things you enjoy. Regardless of your age, help lets you do what you want, when you want!