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.

  • My Car Still Needs Me August 30, 2017 by Flora Davis - For years, I loved the idea of a self-driving car. I could hardly wait until they were available because so many friends my age (over 80) had been forced to give up driving. I didn’t want to be next. Most
  • What a Living Will Can—and Can’t—Do for You July 18, 2017 by Flora Davis - My friend Anne taught me some important things about dying. Anne had congestive heart failure. In January 2012 her cardiologist told her regretfully that she probably wouldn’t live past the end of the month, so she went home to set
  • Green Old Age July 7, 2017 by Flora Davis - A friend of mine recently questioned something she read on this website that presented what she called “a depressing view of aging.”
  • Young Blood May 10, 2017 by Flora Davis - If you were offered a way to feel healthier and even look younger, would you take it? What if it required you to have repeated transfusions with the blood of teenagers or 20-somethings? This is not vampire fiction. A private
  • No More Old Cats? April 6, 2017 by Flora Davis - The other day, I was hunting online for new canned foods to try out on my unbelievably picky cat, and I couldn’t help noticing all the options for “senior cats.” There didn’t seem to be anything at all for “old
  • A Good Death March 9, 2017 by Flora Davis - While I was trawling the Internet one day, I came across this comment on the blog of a jazz musician: “I’ve often joked that every musician’s secret fantasy is to die on the bandstand, at a ripe old age and
  • Where Medicare Fails February 20, 2017 by Flora Davis - A friend of mine was hospitalized recently. What really worried her, she told me the day before she went in, was not the procedure she was about to have but her medical bills if the hospital decided not to admit
  • The Trials of a Top Dog January 12, 2017 by Flora Davis - We live in a hierarchical society. Which is too bad because I’ve never wanted to be anybody’s boss or to order anyone around. That mindset may be fairly common among women of my generation—I’m in my 80s. The one time
  • Deep Reading December 2, 2016 by Flora Davis - I’ve spent my life immersed in a warm bath of fiction. I always have one novel going and another waiting. On the rare occasions when I have no new book on hand, I feel slightly panicky. Scientists have discovered that
  • An Ounce of Prevention? Maybe November 7, 2016 by Flora Davis - I’ve always figured that the fewer medications I take, the better. If there’s something wrong with me and a drug can help, I might not have much of a choice. But dose myself daily to prevent something that might never
  • Reverse Mortgages: An Age-Old Bid for Security October 7, 2016 by Flora Davis - What scares most Americans more than dying? The possibility that we’ll outlive our savings. There have been times in my life when that’s worried me. In my worst moments, I even imagined ending up as a bag lady. What does
  • Overdosed? September 26, 2016 by Flora Davis - When doctors prescribe new medications for me, I always wonder whether they’re getting the dosage right. There’s a reason I’m wary, and it has nothing to do with distrusting my doctors personally. I’m reminded of it whenever someone complains that
  • How to Have a Good Life: Lean In—to Your Relationships September 9, 2016 by Flora Davis - I was stuck for a time when I was in my 20s. My career and dating possibilities were going nowhere, and I struggled with depression. I was far from home, but one day I talked to my father about all
  • Fooling the Phone Company August 31, 2016 by Flora Davis - Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, to quote the 19th century French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • He Was His Own Miracle August 10, 2016 by Flora Davis - There’s an article elsewhere on this website that expresses doubts about something I believe in. There’s no scientific evidence, it says, that thinking positively can keep you healthy or that being determined to fight back against an illness can help you
  • Scammed! A Warning July 18, 2016 by Flora Davis - That day in December, my bursitis had flared up and I’d lost a filling, but what really bothered me was that my computer wasn’t working and I felt stupid. I’d fallen for a scam. What’s more, I’d just read an
  • Retire? Never! July 15, 2016 by Flora Davis - When I was in my 30s, a friend asked whether I was saving money for retirement. I laughed. As a single mother with two small children, I could barely keep my head above water financially. No, I told her, I
  • An Ageless Tradition July 8, 2016 by Flora Davis - Balloons were drifting around, bumping against the ceiling in my living room, buoyed by helium and the generosity of friends. The previous weekend, they had thrown a baby shower for me. It may have been the first time in history
  • Oh, to Be 70 Again June 27, 2016 by Flora Davis - Oh, to be 70 again with the rest of my life opening up in front of me. When I was 70, I was working for a foundation and thought it the best job I’d ever had or was likely to
  • Aging in Place: Is It a Pipe Dream? May 11, 2016 by Flora Davis - On surveys, most older Americans say they want to age in place: to stay right where they are in the home they’ve lived in for years. Whenever I hear that, I wonder whether they realize just how difficult that can