Our Top 10 Stories of 2023

In 2023, we covered an amazing variety of caregiving stories. In some, we showcased inspiring ways that older adults challenged themselves physically, socially, and intellectually. In others, we wrote about some of the challenges that invariably arise as we age. You’ll learn about the benefits of reading, tips for traveling (near or far) as an older adult, the difficulties of caregiving for loved ones who have substance use disorders, and more. Our top story is about collecting — its history, and why we do it. It’s a fascinating look at this unique human habit.

Happy reading, and a happy and healthy new year!


Anika Jaspers. Traveling at an older age10. Embrace the Travel Age

June 2023 – Our summer/fall issue was all about older adults and travel. Defying aging stereotypes and challenges, many find value and inspiration in adventure. Yet, mobility issues can cause stress if part of the trip is not accessible. And leaving their comfort zone makes some travelers anxious. Plus, changing time zones, moving from place to place, and packing can be downright exhausting. Writer (and chronic traveler) Jennifer Billock explores the pros and cons.

An older man with white hair wearing a maroon t-shirt sits at a table. On his arm is a tattoo that says DANGER

9. Indelible Ink

November 2023 – Only 13% of people over age 65 in the U.S. have a tattoo. Writer Dan Dean talks with some of them, looking into societal attitudes in the U.S. towards tattoos and why some older adults have chosen to buck anti-tattoo trends.

Older woman with white hair, wearing a purple shirt, plays the piano.8. Super Aging

December 2023 – What if, as you got older, your memory abilities stayed as they were decades ago? This is what happens for so-called SuperAgers — a term coined 15 years ago at Northwestern University. SuperAgers are adults over age 80 whose memories work at the same level as individuals 20 to 30 years younger. In this piece, writer Victoria Shanta Retelny digs into potential causes.

A woman in a yellow sweater talks with an older man in a dark sweater.7. Seeking Caregiver Support

January 2023 – Caregiving can feel like it’s happening in a vacuum, but people in Illinois are working to change that, writer Melanie Kalmar shares. The Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition formed in 2022 with a $4 million grant from the Retirement Research Foundation for Aging. Stakeholders include upwards of 200 members, such as associations, family caregivers, healthcare providers, hospitals, and more — all working to advocate for and connect caregivers with more resources.

A chef pipes an orange puree onto a plate in a line of similar plates.6. Power of Purees

April 2023 – Eating should be a pleasure, but for some people this basic necessity becomes a chore due to health challenges. For this story, Nancy Maes talks with local chefs who are turning to more options — such as small bites and pureed foods — to make mealtime enjoyable again.

A woman with blonde hair, wearing a flowered jacket, smiles as she talks on the phone while walking along train tracks at a train station.5. Keep Connecting

October 2023 – Distance doesnt have to end relationships, whether that distance is due to geography or health changes. And for older adults, the lack of connections in a new place can lead to social isolation and loneliness, directly affecting their health. Staying in touch with your closest friends has extensive benefits for everyone involved, writes Katie Colt. You just have to find a way that works for you.

empathy and care to elderly parent with addiction concept4. Caregiving and Addiction

May 2023 – Caring for somebody who is misusing drugs or alcohol is fraught with challenges. The caregiver and their loved one often end up isolated due to the stigma around addiction. And the health issues don’t end at addiction, as writer Sarah Lindenfeld Hall outlines in this story. People with addiction often grapple with other conditions, particularly mental health disorders, and chronic health issues that have emerged from drug or alcohol abuse. Caregivers have to navigate all these challenges alongside their loved one.

An older couple reads in their living room, one sitting on the couch with a book, and the other in a chair in the foreground, reading from an e-reader3. Reading Rewards

October 2023 – As writer Nancy Maes shares in this story, studies show that reading offers protections against dementia as people age. It also improves memory, concentration, and stress levels, and it enhances peoples ability to empathize. What are researchers doing with this information?

A close-up of hands holding a salt shaker over a plate of vegetables 2. Soaring — or Sinking? — Sodium

November 2023 – Sodium levels — whether too high or too low — can impact many health functions, from balance to cognition. Normal sodium levels in the blood range from 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter. As writer Jeanette Hurt explains in this story, levels outside of that tight span may mean dehydration, kidney issues, or other medical conditions.

stamp collecting

1. Why We Collect

September 2023 – No matter what collectors choose to gather, the pastime offers many benefits. Yet over the years, humanscollecting habits have changed to reflect the times in which they live (such as fabric or paper during the Great Depression). Here, writer Nancy Maes explores the purpose that collecting serves today.