for senior living, wellness, palliative care, end-of-life planning


Anatomy of the Spirit – the Seven Stages of Power and Healing; What Makes Us Healthy – Understanding Mystical Law and Your Parallel Reality; Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can by Caroline Myss, PhD – each book is based on energy medicine and how your inner attitudes and spirit can affect your health and healing. Hearing CM in person or on her tapes is most impressive.

At Home with Dying – a Zen Hospice Approach by journalist and former Zen Hospice worker Merrill Collett. A practical, valuable companion no matter what your belief system is.

Being Mortal – Medicine and What Matters at the End-of-Life by Atul Gawande – an East Indian surgeon practicing in Boston, and staff writer for the New Yorker, comes to terms with end-of-life challenges of modern medicine through his father’s painful demise. Advocating for end-of-life planning and death with dignity.

Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved, a compilation of essays from Asia and the U.S. which can be read on-line at You may make a donation if the content has assisted you in some way.

Conquering Concussion by Mary Lee Estes, PhD, and C.M. Shiflett – based on effective, non-invasive ways to help heal brain trauma. See also Stephen Larsen PhD’s excellent The Healing Power of Neurofeedback.

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks – physician from Britain, educated and practicing in the U.S. writes eloquently and compassionately about his eminent demise from cancer at age 82. Sacks is also the author of the notable Awakenings (book and movie).

Healing and Recovery by David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD  “The book reveals why the body may not respond to traditional medical approaches, and provides specific instructions and guidelines that can result in healing from disease. Our society lives with constant stress, anxiety, fear, pain, suffering, depression, and worry. Alcoholism, drug addiction, obesity, sexual problems and cancer are constantly in the news. This timely book provides information about how to address life’s challenges without necessarily resorting to drugs, surgery or counseling, and explains the importance of including spiritual practices in one’s healing and recovery.”  Review is from

Lessons from the Dying by Rodney Smith, former palliative care and hospice administrator. Smith’s book could also be called Lessons for the Living.

My Own Country by Dr. Abraham Verghese, an East Indian author, educator (Stanford University School of Medicine), physician, and TED MED speaker. Dr. Verghese’s account of his life as a young physician in the rural mountains of Tennessee when AIDS arrives.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch and Balch, an excellent day-to-day handbook for almost anything that ails you

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Los Angeles-based mortician Caitlin Doughty. A call to return to the “old ways”, natural ways, with dignified, sacred rituals honoring those who have passed.

The Conversation – A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care by Harvard Medical School physician and researcher Angelo E. Volandes, also the co-founder of Advance Care Planning Decisions, a non-profit. Book based on seven stories of patients.

The Craft of Compassion at the Bedside of the Ill by Michael Ortiz Hill, hospice nurse, rescue worker, Buddhist practitioner, and an initiated medicine man with the tribal people of Zimbabwe.

The Healing Power of the Breath by Richard Brown, MD and Patricia Gerbarg MD, integrative psychiatrists who use proven ancient and modern mind-body healing techniques to relieve trauma and stress in the body at any age. See

What To Do When I’m Gone – A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter by Suzy Hopkins and Hallie Bateman (actual mother/daughter team – mother wrote the copy, daughter created the graphics; Bloomsbury USA, April 2018). This is a book I wish I had written or collaborated on. It is funny, poignant, simple, and wise – sharing what is meaningful in life. It also reminds me of another subject dear to my heart – how I always miss my precious mother even though I’ve found ways to keep her by my side.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – an East Indian MD, neuroscientist, and accomplished communicator writes about his eminent death from cancer at age 37. Compelling, poetic, and another plea for choosing to live your life to the fullest your last days.   Brilliant review  by author Andrew Solomon of five books on death and dying. I wish I had written this review.

On February 16, 2016, The Conversation Project posted on its blog their 10 top books on death and dying…

Organizations et altri

AARP  up-to-date U.S. legislative policy news for older adults

Advanced Care Planning Decisions  Dr. Angelo Volandes’ web site gives you step by step guidance on this subject.  Note: The National Institute on Aging, several faith-based organizations, and other sites also provide similar information.  Ken Dychtwald offers statistics on U.S. healthcare spending, aging trends, senior savings, number of people currently residing in assisted living homes, and more.

Aging2.0  Global network of innovators created by Google to research and advance the future of aging

***Aging with Dignity  Florida-based non-profit which created the Five Wishes living will/end-of-life plan, legal in most states and available in 24 languages. I created mine in 2005 when we were using them for preliminary admissions at assisted living homes for those without Advanced Healthcare Directives. Easy, inexpensive ($5 for the form + two witnesses in front of a notary).

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Weekly Excellent free newsletter with articles and videos sharing the latest advances related to Alzheimer’s and dementia care for patients, families, caregivers, and volunteers

American Geriatrics Society  a national not-for-profit advocating for programs in patient care, education, research, and public policy since 1942.

American Society on Aging  San Francisco-based non-profit which educates its members on issues of aging and other subjects

Argentum, formerly the Assisted Living Federation of America,   A trade association serving professional senior living operators throughout the U.S.

** Well-managed, San Francisco Bay Area on-line provider of leads for independent living, assisted living, in-home care, health resources, and support groups for older adults throughout the U.S.

Center to Advance Palliative Care and National Palliative Care Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine in New York,

Center for Healthy Aging, University of California, San Diego   A think tank and umbrella organization for all university age-related programs, also part of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging. See .

Center for the Future of Aging.    articles, statistics  “Aging better together”, a concept for aging in place created by boomers.

Compassion and Choices – Colorado-based non-profit focused on free will at end-of-life, choosing your end-of-life when possible, including assistance.

Environments for Aging

Final Fling  “Final Fling is for people who like to be in control of life and death decisions.”

Foundation for Senior Services

*Geripal (Geriatrics and Palliative care) “is a forum for discourse, recent news and research, and freethinking commentary,” based at the University of San Francisco. .  Geripal was acquired by Pallimed in April 2016.

**Geritech  Excellent blog by SFO gerontologist Leslie Kernisan who is dedicated to finding the best technological and digital health assistance for aging. Go to to sign up for her free blog (compellingly honest) or to buy her new book.

Gerontological Society of America

Help Age International/Global Age Watch  London-based non-profit with worldwide rescue for elders caught in natural disasters and war  nurse consultant Amy Getter’s well-written blog with thoughts on patient, family, and healthcare provider issues

International Association for the Study of Pain

Medicare Rights Center

National Aging in Place Council offers practical advice on its web site on this important subject at

National Association of Home Care & Hospice  Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group

National Council on Aging

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization  Dedicated to making hospice and palliative care an integral part of the U.S. system. On-line courses, annual conference.

Palliative Care and Research Society   UK-based organization which promotes research into all aspects of palliative care and facilitates its dissemination

SCAN Foundation is a well-managed not-for-profit providing a Medicare Advantage Plan in southern California and Arizona. Its services are highly rated every year.

Senior Housing Forum  daily articles by prolific assisted living thought leader Steve Moran.

Social Security Works is a non-profit focusing on the protection of the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations, and to maintain social security “as a vehicle of social justice.” Their web site has many informative articles about the current state of social security.

Stanford Center on Longevity and  studies in ethnogeriatrics

*The Conversation Project  Ellen Goodman’s remarkable project has started conversations across the world since 2010 about what constitutes a good death, especially if you (or a loved one) are in long-term care or hospice. Once we commit to sharing our wishes on paper and with our loved ones, physicians, and friends, we save time, energy, and stress for ourselves and everyone else.  See the starter kit and Ellen’s fine team at

The Green House Project.  “The new standard in long-term and post-acute care, with national brand power, higher measurable quality outcomes, consumer demand, and caregiver satisfaction.” Dr. Bill Thomas’ effective concept incorporating home-like atmospheres, gardens to work in, animals, etc.

USC Edward Roybal Institute on Aging


Departures (Okuribito) from Japanese director  Yojin Takita. I have viewed this film which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film more than a half-dozen times. A beautifully moving, sacred work honoring both life and death.

End Game  (Netflix 2018)  documenting the value of palliative care by following two of my pc heroes Dr. Steven Pantillat of USCF and Dr. BJ Miller of UCSF and Zen Hospice with their patients.