Hannah Critchfield - Aging and Seniors Reporter

Aging and Seniors Reporter

I cover roughly a fourth of the Tampa Bay area’s population, and strive for my coverage to reflect the diversity of this community. I care deeply about learning what issues, challenges and triumphs are on the minds of our seniors and the people around them. I’m committed to telling stories that reveal hidden wrongdoing and serve communities that are often overlooked in the public sphere. I’m originally from a Midwestern town called Normal, which I promise is a real place — we have the world’s largest Dairy Queen, after all — and earned my master’s degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. While I miss the cardinals of Central Park, I’m excited to learn about every single one of Florida’s piquant birds. If you have a story idea or just want to talk, reach out. Tell me what we’re missing, what you want to know, and how I can better serve you. Email me for my direct phone number if you’d like to talk more securely on Signal.

  1. Pet owners prepare for Hurricane Ian at Durant High in Plant City last year. All Tampa Bay area counties have hurricane shelters that are pet friendly.
  2. A Dunedin nursing home is being sued after a woman was attacked and later died in 2021.
  3. Marylyn Reilly rides the SunRunner to Walmart for her weekly grocery shopping on Monday in St. Petersburg. She came out as a transgender woman last March, after the death of her father, who she said was not accepting of her identity. “After a day or two, I knew I made the right decision,” Reilly said.
  4. Florida anti-trans legislation is prompting discussions in the LGBTQ+ community about leaving the state. Simone Bouyer, 61, and Clare Dygert, 68, in their Riverview library on April 21, 2023, have been together for eight years. Now, the Riverview couple is deciding if they should move to North Carolina because they no longer view Florida as a safe place for LGBTQ+ people.
  5. Destin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, the only nursing home in the popular Panhandle beach town, had four serious violations last year. But until recently, details about them were difficult to find.
  6. Ellen Guevel, 57, left, and her partner, Linda Guevel, 73, right, visit with dogs Missy and Ava on Monday, March 27, 2023, at their home in Clearwater. Ellen has been caring for her partner since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
  7. Iris Serrano celebrates her 100th birthday with family and friends at the Hillsborough County Brandon Senior Center on March 9 in Brandon.
  8. The remaining 39 residents are evacuated from Freedom Square of Seminole, Friday, April 17, 2020 in Seminole. The sprawling retirement community faced at least seven wrongful death lawsuits after a coronavirus outbreak afflicted the facility.
  9. Sam Jelbert, left, Bob Larkin and Neil Pepper share a shot of Irish whiskey during a break in play while golfing at the Churchill Downs Executive Golf Course at The Villages on Monday. Exactly what golfers must wear in the world’s largest retirement community is up for debate.
  10. Nicole Santos, 43, who holds a bear stuffed with a recording of her mother’s heartbeat, poses for a portrait in the room where her mother died in 2021 in her Wimauma home on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023.
  11. A vehicle is packed with belongings as a resident of Raydiant Health Care of Brandon moves from the facility at 701 Victoria St, on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Brandon. The assisted living facility lost its contract with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid on July 6.
  12. Inspectors found that nursing home staff at Excel Care Center in Tampa, pictured here, had failed to tell a resident’s doctor about lab work showing that the man was at risk for dangerous bleeding and needed to stop taking his blood thinning medication.
  13. ht_323346_vrag_hospice_01 of (05/26/10 Brooksville) Megan England, 17, chats with Margaret Autio, 92, as they look out a window into the courtyard at Heartland of Brooksville nursing home in May. England, since July 2008, has logged more than 500 hours with HPH Hospice as a volunteer. [WILL VRAGOVIC, Times]
  14. Over the summer, the resident-shareholders of Caribbean Isles, a 55-and-older mobile home community in Largo, decided to sell the property to a corporate buyer.
  15. Michele Hall, 55, of Bradenton, looks at her walking companions at the De Soto National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Bradenton. Michele was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease when she was 53. “I can't read or write or any of that stuff. But I can talk.”
  16. A pedestrian was struck while walking along US-92, a road that lacks sidewalks in some places.
  17. A 54-year-old man died after his van flipped in a Hillsborough County accident.
  18. A 37-year-old man faces charges for second-degree murder.
  19. A 16-year-old is in critical condition after being shot at Curtis Hixon Park on Sunday.
  20. Jane Lenher, a resident who says she is in her 80's, sits outside of the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, 7800 Liberty Lane, on Friday, April 17, 2020 in Seminole. "I come out everyday for some fresh air," Lenher said. "And then I go back in and do busy stuff." Lenher said she does not know anyone in the facility that is sick from coronavirus. About 30 patients and staff members at a Pinellas County nursing home have tested positive for the coronavirus, county officials said. Several patients from Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion have been transferred to local hospitals, Assistant County Administrator Lourdes Benedict told the Tampa Bay Times. Other residents of the facility will be tested, officials said, and the grounds are being cleaned.
  21. Randy Pennington, 65, left, laughs with John Robinson, 70, and Charles Hancock, 69, while talking with a group of six LGBTQ seniors during a lunch event at Urban Brew & BBQ, 2601 Central Ave, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 in St. Petersburg. The event was lead by Jane Haskell, 29, the LGBTQ Community Support Counselor with Epic Generation, a part of Epic Empath Health.
  22. In Tampa Bay, over a fifth of older homeowners remain saddled with mortgages. The metropolitan area ranks in the top 15 for communities with the highest share of older adults with a mortgage, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Census data for the nation’s 50 largest metros.
  23. Angela Wieczorek, 32, center, and Jacob Stell, 31, stand outside their tent at the campground where they have been living at E.G. Simmons Regional Park on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022, in Ruskin.