The National Council on Aging announces 2023 photo contest award winners

The National Council on Aging’s photo contest results are in. And this year was all about older women embracing life and contributing to their communities.

“These photographs suggest to me that we are all connected in the Dance of Life as we pursue our goals toward aging well and endeavor to help others to age well,” said juror Carol Lukitsch in a statement.

As a nonprofit, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) provides aging resources and advocates for people’s right to age well, regardless of gender, income, race, sexuality, or zip code. The council’s annual photo contest, now in its fourth year, reflects their mission.

For this year’s contest, the council chose to focus on women because they statistically live longer than men yet face unique health and financial security challenges.

In a recent survey that the council conducted with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, most respondents reported feeling worried and uncertain when thinking about retirement. Almost all (90%) said they strongly support government policies that would make them more financially security.

“Women’s path to aging well is often sidelined by lower pay and caregiving responsibilities during their working years,” Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO, said in a statement. “We know that, as women age, their level of poverty increases. We’re working to ensure every older woman can age with dignity. These photos are a beautiful reminder of how they make our lives and communities richer.”

See the first and second place photos below, as well as the Invited Juror Choice Award winner. You can view the complete gallery here or explore a virtual exhibition for more.


A photo of a woman in her garden by Kevin Rose Schultz

First Place: “In Her Garden” by Kevin Rose Schultz
According to Schultz, the photo subject “taught art in the public schools for over 20 years and inspired students with her ceramics, paintings, and drawings. At 90 years old, [she] continues to support the arts in our community.”

Flower Seller by Leslie Cieplechowicz

Second Place: “Flower Seller” by Leslie Cieplechowicz
Cieplechowicz said she felt inspired by the subject’s “fortitude to come every morning at the crack of dawn to sell. She is like so many older women, still working to support themselves and their families, retirement but a fleeting notion”

Julia Montrond 90-Years Old by Nancy Rubin

The Invited Juror Choice Award: “Julia Montrond 90 Years Old” by Nancy Rubin
“From pickleball to tai chi, yoga to lawn bowling, these old people put to rest the stereotype of grandma in her rocker watching TV,” said Rubin, who photographed older adults in action.