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.

Elder Abuse and Aging Top Issues at Boston Forum

“Older adults are an asset to our country,” said Sylvia Burwell, U.S. secretary of health and human services, at a White House Conference on Aging regional forum in Boston on May 28. Burwell was a keynote speaker at the final of five invitation-only regional forums designed to engage older Americans, their families, caregivers, advocates, community leaders and experts on key issues affecting seniors. Their ideas and opinions will help set the agenda for the White House conference on July 13 …

Family Reunions: Different Strokes for Different Folks

I’m always surprised when I hear friends or colleagues say that their families rarely get together for reunions. That’s because between me and my husband, there are at least a couple to choose from every year. So we usually pick one and set aside some vacation time for it. Many of my friends do the same thing. And it’s fun to hear about what relatives do when they get together for a few days. It can run the gamut. I …

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,” said Julian Castro, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 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 …