Active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the centres of galaxies can cycle between periods of activity and of quiescence. Characterising the duty-cycle of AGN is crucial for understanding their impact on the evolution of the host galaxy. For radio AGN, their evolutionary stage can be identified from a combination of morphological and spectral properties. We summarise the results we have obtained in the last few years by studying radio galaxies in various crucial phases of their lives, such as remnant and restarted sources. We used morphological information derived from LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) images at 150 MHz, combined with resolved spectral indices maps, obtained using recently released images at 1400 MHz from the APERture Tile In Focus (Apertif) phased-array feed system installed on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Our study, limited so far to the Lockman Hole region, has identified radio galaxies in the dying and restarted phases. We found large varieties in their properties, relevant for understanding their evolutionary stage. We started by quantifying their occurrences, the duration of the ‘on’ (active) and ‘off’ (dying) phase, and we compared the results with models of the evolution of radio galaxies. In addition to these extreme phases, the resolved spectral index images can also reveal interesting secrets about the evolution of apparently normal radio galaxies. The spectral information can be connected with, and used to improve, the Fanaroff–Riley classification, and we present one example of this, illustrating what the combination of the LOFAR and Apertif surveys now allow us to do routinely.