Will For-Profit Companies Embrace Alternative Skilled Nursing Facility Models?

September 2016 — The nonprofit sector has long been in the forefront of patient-centered care and culture change in long-term care settings. Will for-profit organizations—who own more than two-thirds of the skilled nursing facilities in the United States—embrace the concept, which demands a huge commitment to change, a major investment in redevelopment, organizational transformation and training? Can this model be financially viable for for-profit organizations? Here’s my take on the subject, in a recent edition of Long Term Living magazine.

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How Not to Have a Failure to Communicate

July 2016 — Ellen Rand is now a guest blogger for the website Sixty and Me, aimed at women in their sixties. Here is her first post, about how not to have a failure to communicate with physicians if you or a loved one is facing a serious diagnosis. Hint: Ask lots of questions. And expect your physician to ask you some questions too.

Choosing the Right Questions to Ask Your Doctor When Facing a Serious Diagnosis

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New Book Shines Spotlight on Pathfinders and Innovations in Late-Life Care

May 2016 — The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) featured news about “Last Comforts: Notes from the Forefront of Late Life Care” in the Spring 2016 edition of ELNEC Connections, a quarterly newsletter showcasing efforts in palliative care nursing education, practice, research, and advocacy:

It’s no secret that care at the end of people’s lives is still mostly fragmented, uncoordinated, costly, and unsustainable. But it does not have to be that way. Last Comforts: Notes from the Forefront of Late-Life Care, a new book by seasoned journalist and hospice volunteer Ellen Rand, spotlights many of the innovations that can make an enormous difference for each of us as we come nearer to the end of our lives. The book is available in digital and paperback formats and also through

“The Comfort of Strangers” in Pulse–Voices from the Heart of Medicine

May 2016 — The online journal Pulse — Voices from the Heart of Medicine started a new feature: every month there will be short pieces centered on a single theme. Theme in May is “The Waiting Room.” Here is a link to Ellen Rand’s short story:

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With Aging and Illness, Opting to Go Back Into the Closet

Imagine being frail, ill and experiencing the most vulnerable time of your life, worried that whoever is assigned to assist you – either in hour home or in a long-term care setting — is hostile to the way you’ve lived your life. What would you do? Would you hide who you are? Would you perhaps refer to your partner or spouse as a roommate? Sadly, for elders who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and contending with advanced illness, going back into the closet out of fear of neglect, disapproval or abuse, is not uncommon. This piece by Ellen Rand, written for New America Media, sheds some light:

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Podcasts Feature Interviews With Author Ellen Rand

Deanna Cochran, end-of-life doula and host of the podcast The Journey, featured in an interview with author Ellen Rand in April 16. You can listen, or view it, here:


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Hospice Times:

Adriane Berg, host of the podcast Generation Bold: The Fountain of Truth, interviewed Ellen Rand for National Healthcare Decisions Day. The wide-ranging conversation covered many issues, including why “just shoot me” isn’t a plan for late-life care; and what unique challenges the LGBT community faces in late life. You can listen here:

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One Week Only! Enter for A Chance to Win Free Book!

Did you miss the chance to talk with loved ones on National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, ’16? It’s not too late! And author Ellen Rand wants to help readers start the conversation by offering a giveaway of five books, from April 20 to 27 from Goodreads.

Here’s how to enter to win:

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“Reality TV” Essay Posted on Cell 2 Soul,  April 2016:

From cell 2 soul, the humane health care blog:

Ellen Rand writes us: “What’s the reality of caring for loved ones in decline? We’re not likely to see the rawness, the intimacy, the messiness, the profundity of it in the movies or on TV – except for a few rare  pathfinders. David B. Oliver was one of them.

David and his wife, Debra Parker Oliver, possessed a deep knowledge gained over their professional lives researching and teaching about aging and end-of-life issues. That he responded to his own deadly illness in a meaningful way is tied both to his character and to his life’s work.”

Ellen’s beautifully written introduction to the Oliver’s moving and instructive videos will interest many of you.  We are grateful to her for having sent us her essay (which you can access here: Download Reality TV

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E-News of the Journalists Network on Generations

Reporting What’s New on the Generations Beat Since 1993.

Visit: Generations Beat Online

March 10, 2016

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Last Comforts: Notes from the Forefront of Late-Life Careis a new book by Ellen Rand, a journalist for 40 years and former The New York Times housing columnist. A hospice volunteer in her home community of Teaneck, N.J., Rand asserts herself as an ”optimist” even in facing this difficult moment of life.

She acknowledges, “As we baby boomers approach old age and its likely infirmities – no doubt kicking and screaming – we must confront some unwelcome questions. How do we want to be cared for in our lives’ closing chapters? Who’s going to take care of us, and where? How can we avoid the nightmarish, ‘medicalized’ ends that too many of our parents suffered?”

She goes on, however, “My aim is to spotlight ways that late-life care in the not-too-distant future might look dramatically different.” In the book, which she is self-publishing with the imprint Cypress Publishing, Rand says she has documented such positive developments as new models for coordinated care and culture change in long-term care settings; inroads in medical and nursing education; important developments in compassionate and effective dementia care; leaders who are addressing the unique challenges faced by minority and LGBT populations; technological innovations; and public policy approaches affecting late-life care delivery and financing. One chapter is  titled “The Long and Winding Road to Cultural Competence.”

Rand will release the book in April. Writers/producers can contact her for information and a review copy at

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Notes from the Forefront of Late-Life Care