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.

  • Do Older People Deserve Senior Discounts? August 5, 2015 by Flora Davis - When I flew to Montreal for a college reunion, senior discounts helped me pay for my airfare and hotel room. While I was happy to take advantage of these perks of my years, was I more deserving of such modest
  • My Greatest Fear June 4, 2015 by Flora Davis - From my living room window, I look out on a pretty little park—and the nursing home across the way. I know someone who lives there but I haven’t visited her, I’m ashamed to say. The place scares me because it
  • Giving Back June 4, 2015 by Flora Davis - In my husband’s last months, he fought stubbornly for his independence even when the things he insisted on doing for himself were extremely difficult for him—or were against doctors’ orders. I had to be available to care for him all
  • Going Nuclear in a Family Way May 18, 2015 by Flora Davis - I grew up in a nuclear family—parents, kids and that was it—but I had the impression that practically everyone else in America lived in three-generation extended families. When grandparents grew old, I believed, their grown children automatically took them in,
  • Baring All for a Good Cause April 10, 2015 by Flora Davis - The other day, a friend told me she planned to leave her body to a medical school when she died so that students could dissect it to learn anatomy. She wanted to know whether I’d consider doing the same thing.
  • A Life or Death Decision February 23, 2015 by Flora Davis - The other day, I went to the vet with my 15-year-old dog to talk about euthanasia. A couple of my friends thought Korku was suffering and that I should free him from his infirmities. Many people refer to this as
  • One-Way Conversations January 15, 2015 by Flora Davis - I often talk to myself, and for a long time I couldn’t figure out why. I never did my thinking out loud before my husband died. I wondered: do I do it now because I live alone or is this
  • Spring Swingers December 1, 2014 by Flora Davis - I lived in Montreal for half a dozen years in the 1950s, and I recall winters when the snow seemed endless. There was so much of it that the city didn’t just plow, it trucked the stuff away and dumped
  • Do I Smell Old? October 24, 2014 by Flora Davis - When I was a teenager, I worried sometimes about whether I had bad breath or BO (body odor). Advertising campaigns regularly demonized these and other normal, human smells, and that sold a lot of toothpaste, mouthwash and deodorant.  My concerns
  • How Old Is Too Old? October 23, 2014 by Flora Davis - I am a fan of short, online videos—the kind you see on YouTube. I often follow the links that come flooding in with my emails. I’m willing to give them a try, trusting the judgment of people in my chain
  • A Shortage of Heroes July 18, 2014 by Flora Davis - I think my doctor is a hero and I once told him so. He’s a geriatrician—a specialist in treating older people—and a rare find.  From what I read, I can guess he earns less than most specialists and has less
  • The Community of Me June 22, 2014 by Flora Davis - When I was a child, my father bragged that my mom kept our kitchen so clean, we could eat off the floor. Mother often warned me about germs, something she worried about a lot because, back then, there were no
  • Playing the Old-Person Card June 3, 2014 by Flora Davis - I was making breakfast when I heard the man from the phone company knock on my neighbor’s door. (I live in an apartment building in a huge retirement community.) I thought nothing of it—the neighbor had just moved in.  But
  • Multitasking after 40 April 10, 2014 by Flora Davis - I’ve always prided myself on my ability to multitask—I hate to do just one thing if I can manage two at the same time. I never go anywhere without a book just in case I get a chance to read.
  • Recalculating My Expiration Date March 16, 2014 by Flora Davis - At 79, I’m old enough to understand that I’m not immortal. Put it this way: I don’t take out five-year magazine subscriptions, but I’m still willing to buy green bananas. I might have to rethink my position on magazine subscriptions. 
  • What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving October 23, 2013 by Flora Davis - A few months after my husband died, a friend said to me, “I’m glad you’re feeling better and moving on with your life.”  She meant well, but her remark made me acutely uncomfortable because grief still washed over me in
  • Are Men an Endangered Species? September 12, 2013 by Flora Davis - Why is it that almost everywhere on the planet women outlive men? And how come that’s been true for centuries, at least in Europe, even though childbirth used to be a really risky proposition? These questions grabbed me while I
  • Good News for Those with Chronic Conditions May 16, 2013 by Flora Davis - In 2008, my husband pitched backward down a flight of stairs and suffered a brain injury that cost him his sense of balance. Despite the walker he reluctantly used after that, he often fell, and I was told that if
  • Watch Your Language! September 24, 2012 by Flora Davis - Never use the word old. That’s the advice everyone gives us, but it’s hard to follow on a website devoted to the subject of aging. Most Americans in their middle and later years are turned off by terms like old people and old age and by most of the euphemisms that stand in for them.