Flora Davis

Flora Davis has written scores of magazine articles and is the author of five nonfiction books, including the award-winning Moving the Mountain: The Women’s Movement in America Since 1960 (1991, 1999). She currently lives in a retirement community and continues to work as a writer.

  • Retirement as Identity Crisis June 19, 2024 by Flora Davis - My sister taught in elementary schools for most of her adult life. She was in her 50s when she was laid off by the private school where she’d worked for years—an involuntary retirement. She was terribly upset. “Teaching isn’t what
  • I No Longer Speak the Language May 9, 2024 by Flora Davis - I’m feeling old, incompetent and frustrated.  Over the past few days, my devices all failed me. The TV wouldn’t stream, my cell phone wouldn’t text, the printer refused to print, my tablet failed to download an Audible book I’d bought
  • To Drive or Not to Drive March 19, 2024 by Flora Davis - Back when my husband was in his 70s, he kept having fender benders. He was losing his eyesight, and I knew he should stop driving, but he refused. After each minor accident, he rationalized that it could have happened to
  • On Death and Hearing Aids December 28, 2023 by Flora Davis - When I was merely middle-aged, I sometimes wondered how those who were in their waning years coped with knowing that they weren’t likely to live much longer.  One day, I got the chance to ask the mother of a friend
  • Acupunctured October 17, 2023 by Flora Davis - When my doctor first suggested I try acupuncture to relieve my lower back pain, I was dubious. Would my Medicare Advantage plan pay for it? To my surprise, it would. Was it available nearby? It was.  But I was still
  • False Alarms September 15, 2023 by Flora Davis - At 88, I’m mostly a homebody, no longer much interested in travel, but recently I drove halfway across New Jersey to see a play my son, Jeffrey, directed at a community theater. I couldn’t come back the same day because
  • Smartphone Saga July 5, 2023 by Flora Davis - My cellphone failed recently, and the experience taught me a few uncomfortable things about myself. For one thing, apparently I’m a technophobe. It’s a long story. About a month ago, I was sitting in my car with my friend, Jeanne,
  • It’s Not Because You’re Aging May 17, 2023 by Flora Davis - Once you reach a certain age, it’s hard not to blame your problems on aging. Even when you know better. That’s what happened with a seemingly trivial difficulty I had the other day. That morning, when I picked up my
  • Daylight Saving Forever? March 7, 2023 by Flora Davis - Daylight saving time will begin on March 12, and I’m not looking forward to it. Every year after we lose that hour of sleep, I feel groggy for days. Now that I’m in my 80s, it hits me harder than
  • Gallows Humor February 14, 2023 by Flora Davis - I live in a retirement community, and when somebody turns 90 here, we like to celebrate. A few months ago, a friend had a 90th birthday party that made me envious. I’m just 88, but I announced that I too
  • How Dry Eye Am January 20, 2023 by Flora Davis - I’ve just spent a couple of hours on my computer, and the words on my screen are beginning to blur. I have something called dry eye disease (DED), as do quite a few of my friends. Sixteen million Americans have
  • Memory Hacks November 8, 2022 by Flora Davis - When I was young, I could memorize epic poems with ease and recite the Gettysburg Address years after I learned it in school. I seldom forgot the names of books I’d read, the films I’d seen or who starred in
  • Is Old Age Overrated? October 14, 2022 by Flora Davis - Yes, that’s a joke. It has to be, in a culture where most people expect the worst of their later years. But that wasn’t me. I launched myself into my 70s and 80s with gusto. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering
  • Confessions of a Worrywart September 21, 2022 by Flora Davis - My mother used to do what I call “prophylactic worrying.” In the late afternoon every weekday, she’d worry about my father, who was driving home on a busy highway where there were lots of car accidents. She once admitted she
  • Just the Facts July 12, 2022 by Flora Davis - In this age of online falsehoods and conspiracy theories, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what’s true and what’s not, so I was fascinated when I read about a study done early in the pandemic. It set out to determine
  • Overdosing on Sleep June 10, 2022 by Flora Davis - I used to worry about my late husband because he spent so much time sleeping. Sometimes he’d log a solid eight hours overnight and then refuse to get up in the morning, dozing on until early afternoon. I assumed, as
  • Aging, Fast or Slow April 19, 2022 by Flora Davis - When my daughter became pregnant for the first time at 45—with no help from modern medicine—she was told she was probably aging slowly, since it’s rare for women to conceive at that age. She might even be a future centenarian. 
  • Confessions of a Night Owl March 22, 2022 by Flora Davis - Sometimes after midnight, as I start for bed, I look out my bedroom window and feel a pang of loneliness. I live in a retirement community, and in the many windows of the apartment building across the way, only a
  • Writing Our Lives February 15, 2022 by Flora Davis - As a journalist, I explored all kinds of subjects for magazines and book publishers, but I almost never wrote about myself—until I joined a writing group called Reminiscing on Paper.  Most other members were there because their adult children wanted
  • Inner Voices November 18, 2021 by Flora Davis - If nothing is going on around you and your thoughts are wandering, what do those thoughts sound like—or look like—inside your mind?  Everybody’s answer to that is probably different. According to an article in the Guardian, some deaf people don’t