Denise needs to be pain-free - her grandchildren's love lives depend on it.
"All my grandchildren bring along their girlfriends and boyfriends for me to check out," she said. "They're keen for me to give them the tick of approval before they take the relationships any further."
And have they passed the test? "There was this one boy my granddaughter brought round who asked me outright if I thought he was suitable. When I said yes, he promptly wanted to call me Gran. I told him I'd be delighted," the 87-year-old said.
During National Pain Week, it's time to look at how people cope with chronic pain.
According to Chronic Pain Australia, one in five Australians, including adolescents and children, live with chronic pain. This increases to one in every three people over the age of 65.
The prevalence of those living with chronic pain in Australia is expected to increase significantly as the population ages.
Denise, who moved from Phillip Island to one of Uniting AgeWell's independent living retirement villages in Melbourne to be closer to her large family, is enjoying life.
The retired teacher is never happier than sitting out on the lawn with her beloved blind and deaf 17-year-old dog, Gem, chatting to the neighbours as they pass.
She's already supported Happy Hour with the other residents, set up pancake and sausage sizzle get-togethers and is itching to start a bridge club.
To achieve all this, Denise needs to manage her pain levels. She is in constant pain with severe rheumatoid arthritis, which set in after she beat cancer for the second time.
Her joints ache, especially in her hips and her hands, and she has had to give up doing embroidery.
Denise has a home care package through Uniting AgeWell - a not-for-profit senior services provider - and receives physiotherapy and help with housework.
She has also used her package to buy a recliner chair she can easily manoeuvre in and out of to reduce her pain levels. She also uses an electric throw, heat packs and pain medication to help.
"I've found you've got to act fast when the pain sets in and reduce it there and then. There's no point in waiting for it to build up," she said.
The organisation's allied health manager Clare Irvine said a holistic approach involving medication and health services is best.
"Many older people experience pain in their joints; in their back, knees and hips. You need to keep your body moving, and you need to warm up the joints before you start exercising," she said.
Clare advocated heat packs and hydrotherapy, explaining her organisation partners with local pools to offer home care clients this service.
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