Bailey LeFever - Seniors/aging reporter

Seniors/aging reporter

I cover elders and aging in the Tampa Bay area. I’m proud and grateful to be a 2020 Report for America fellow and work for the paper I grew up reading. Though I was raised in Ocala, home to some of state’s best springs and trees, I spent lots of summers in St. Pete. I care about covering topics important to my parents and the others who call these waters home. I’m passionate about reporting public interest stories — the kind of stories that make you feel. I’ve reported across Florida and Cuba, tackling issues such as the illegal sea turtle trade, community government and housing. I spend all of my free time watching baseball on the couch, eating omelettes with my dad and exploring new neighborhoods (on foot). Right now I’m working to learn the streets of my new home in the ever-funky Gulfport. I can’t wait to hear about your life and the way your world ticks.

  1. Bill McDonald, 75, participates in an online meeting while at his home Thursday in New Port Richey. McDonald and other seniors are taking advantage of program through the Area Agency on Aging Pasco-Pinellas to help ease the social isolation of seniors during the pandemic
  2. The Capitol in Tallahassee is seen following Opening Day of the Florida Legislature on March 3, 2021.
  3. Tyler Rorah, 18, of Brooksville, receives a Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine shot from LPN Sonia Woods, right, while receiving his CDC (issued) Covid 10 Vaccination Card during his vaccination appointment on Monday, April 5, 2021, at Saint Leo University, which is serving as the host for the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution for East Pasco County.

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  4. Volunteer Kim Grieder, 59, right, speaks with client Sheryl Naime, 50, of Hudson Thursday in Port Richey. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which is run by the IRS, is one of the main providers of free tax prep services for low-income residents across Tampa Bay, many of whom are seniors.
  5. Tony Hernandez, a social worker with Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care in Pinellas, left, is administered a COVID-19 vaccine shot from Walgreens pharmacist Drin Mita at Heron House Assisted Living in Largo on Feb. 11, where healthcare workers and residents received their second shots against the coronavirus.
  6. John Mikula, left, a Community Paramedic Manager with TransCare Medical Transportation Services, talks with Patricia Landry, 76, a homebound resident, after he administered the coronavirus vaccine to her in her home on Friday in Tampa. “I had just given up hope of being able to get the shot someplace,” Landry said. “Who even thought of this. It’s a blessing. It’s a gift.” TransCare Medical Transportation Services is a division of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, located at 1 Crisis Center Plaza, in Tampa.
  7. On July 17, 2020, Margaret Choinacki, 87, who has no other family members left because her husband and daughter have died, blows kisses to her friend Frances Reaves during a drive-by visit at Miami Jewish Health in Miami.
  8. Marlys Meckler, 81, on left, meets with her husband, Milton Meckler, 87, in the living room of the Grand Villa of St. Petersburg, an assisted-living facility, on Sept. 10, 2020. The couple had been married for 61 years.
  9. Residents wait in line to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine,Jan. 19, at John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
  10. Florida Department of Health medical workers prepare to give seniors a COVID-19 vaccination in the parking lot of the Gulf View Square Mall in New Port Richey.
  11. Jackie Mallozzi, 71, of Safety Harbor, left, helped Skip Meadows, 79, of Safety Harbor, find a coronavirus vaccine in Pasco County recently when reservations to get the shot(s) in Pinellas County were hard to find. Mallozzi is among a group of Pinellas seniors that are helping register fellow seniors for the coronavirus vaccine. While they are happy to chip in the help, some say it reveals flaws in the registration system and leaves out those who don’t have a network of family or friends.
  12. Florida Department of Health medical workers prepare to give seniors a COVID-19 vaccination in the parking lot of the Gulf View Square Mall in New Port Richey. The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County is held their first drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Gulf View Square Mall in New Port Richey, Florida in 2020.
  13. Erma Ferguson, 93, center, poses for a picture with Walgreens pharmacist Drin Mita, right, moments after receiving her second BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot at Heron House Assisted Living in Largo on  Feb. 11, 2021.
  14. The entrance to Mainlands of Tamarac is seen Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 in Pinellas Park.
  15. Marlys Meckler, 81, on left, meets with her husband, Milton Meckler, 87, in the living room of the Grand Villa of St. Petersburg, 3600 34th St S, an assisted-living facility that has opened its doors to visitors after not permitting visitors for the past six months on Sept. 10, 2020 in St. Petersburg. Marlys was visiting Milton, who is a resident of the facility. The couple has been married for 61 years.
  16. Mary Johnson, 73, of Frostproof, looks at items inside the Spongeorama Sponge Factory Tuesday in Tarpon Springs. Johnson said she had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some senior citizens who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are looking to returning to normal. A group of 33 from Frostproof spent the day on a tour which included the Sponge Docks.
  17. Staff members assist residents at Gulf Shore Care Center in Pinellas Park, where administrators have decided against using personal care attendants during the pandemic. New legislation would make the attendants a permanent part of Florida's long-term care system.
  18. State Sen. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg has introduced a bill that would give long-term care facilities in Florida immunity from lawsuits related to COVID-19.
  19. Walgreens pharmacist Anette McClary portions doses of the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into syringes on Jan. 21, while distributing the shots to residents and health care workers at Heron House Assisted Living in Largo.
  20. Hair stylist Leah Rivera, left, receives a BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens pharmacist Thuy Luu on Jan. 21, at Heron House Assisted Living in Largo. Rivera takes care of the residents' hair at the ALF.
  21. Matthew Hines, 78, and his wife Betty, 74 pose for a photograph at their home Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in St. Petersburg. The Hines are concerned because they are unable to travel to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  22. Stimulus checks have been issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
  23. Kathryn Hyer died on Jan. 1. She was a professor and associate director at the School of Aging Studies at USF and director of its Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging.