“Ninety-seven is an age to which you don’t congratulate. You shouldn’t become older than ninety at all!“ Else said, when photographer Hanna Lenz met her for the first time, a few days after her 97. Birthday.
“Today Else is 100 years old. She has been living in her two-room apartment in Aarhus, Denmark for 58 years now. Everything in this flat has its place and memories connected to it. And, to Else, everything in this 5th floor apartment tells a story. A little helping network makes it possible for Else to still live under her own roof and not having to move to a retirement home.
Nowadays Else spends most of her time sitting in her favourite chair by the window. She takes a lot of naps and in between follows her thoughts and memories. Not very long ago Else was reading book after book in this chair. But recently her eyes have become so bad that not even the huge magnifying glass, which she inherited from a departed neighbour, can make things better. Instead she now listens to the radio. It is on the highest volume all day long and keeps Else up to date with the world news or plays classical music for her.
“I am happy for the life I had, but I miss the times where my body still allowed me to do what I want”, Else says while drinking tea and looking out of the window.”
All images © Hanna Lenz