Irene Morey begins each day with tai chi — arms flowing while gentle acoustic music plays from her television. Morey celebrated her 104th birthday with friends Saturday.
“I have good genes. My great grandmother was 105. My sister turned 102 last week,” Morey said. “And that’s that’s a gift.”
Morey knows many seniors aren’t as fortunate as she is; she lives alone and has a pension from 30 years as a nurse. She’s one of the faces of Boston’s “Age Strong” multimedia campaign — unveiled late last year. It aims to challenge stereotypes about the elderly and fight ageism. Morey thinks raising the profile of seniors can also deepen support for expanding senior programs.
“You can’t feel compassion if you don’t relate to a person,” Morey said. “You can’t.”
Seniors are one of the fastest growing populations in Massachusetts. Within 15 years, older adults are expected to make up nearly a quarter of the population. And in a state with a sky-high cost of living, seniors face a sobering challenge: trying to make ends meet.
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