Best Life

Barbranda Lumpkins Walls is a features editor for AARP Media who spotlights everyday people doing exceptional things. These folks might not make national news, but they deserve a shout-out. She loves pop culture — especially food, fashion, television and R&B music. Family, friends and spirituality play important roles in her life. And traffic.

Affordable Housing, Active Living Top Agenda at White House Forum

“Retirement is no longer looked at as the last chapter of one’s life, but rather a new and exciting beginning for the next phase of life,” Julian Castro, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said at a White House Conference on Aging regional forum in Cleveland on April 27. “Older Americans want to be active. They want to contribute and build lives of fulfillment and of their own choosing,” Castro told attendees. In light of that, he called for …

Advocates for Older Americans Discuss Aging Issues in Seattle

“This is not your father’s or mother’s retirement. This is a new world order,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez told attendees at a White House Conference on Aging regional forum in Seattle on April 2. Perez was the keynote speaker at the third in a series of five forums leading up to the White House Conference on Aging this summer. He touched on topics that affect older Americans, ranging from the impending shortage of home health care aides (“These …

Aging Issues, Volunteerism Top Talks in Phoenix

“We have to start thinking about healthy aging starting at an early age,” Amy St. Peter, human services manager for the Maricopa Association of Governments, told attendees in Phoenix at the second of a series of five forums leading up to the White House Conference on Aging this summer. Experts on aging issues along with advocates and everyday older Americans gathered for the invitation-only confab to offer opinions and help set the agenda for the White House conference in Washington. …

Paying Tribute to an Ancestor Extraordinaire

Deborah Williams of Richfield, Minn., never got to meet her grandfather, Harry Henry Hill. But she knows his story: The black boy who lost his parents in the late 1800s and left school at age 12 became a single dad to six — count ’em, six — daughters and raised them on his own during a period of intense racial discrimination and prejudice against African Americans. Williams’ compelling story about her beloved grandfather is the winner of AARP’s Tribute to …

Elizabeth Dole Receives Andrus Award, AARP’s Highest Honor

Elizabeth Dole has received the 2014 Ethel Percy Andrus Award, AARP’s highest honor, for her support of military family caregivers. The leader of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and former U.S. senator, Cabinet member and president of the American Red Cross accepted the award at a dinner March 11 in Washington. Dole’s foundation aims to strengthen services for those caregivers — the nation’s “hidden heroes,” she calls them — through innovation, evidence-based research and partnerships across all sectors. In presenting the …

Reaching Across Party Lines to Support Caregivers

Members of Congress announced Tuesday the formation of the Assisting Caregivers Today caucus, a bipartisan coalition that aims to bring more attention to the plight of family caregivers. With the support of AARP and more than 20 other national organizations, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) had an afternoon news conference to announce their efforts to provide more help for people to live independently as well as to …