Paula Span is a reporter, journalist and educator. She writes the New York Times “The New Old Age” column and trains the next generation of journalists at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Paula’s book, “When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions” offers a window into the lives of some of the 45 million Americans caring for a family member. She was a staff writer at the Washington Post for sixteen years and has been a freelance writer for many popular magazines over the past forty-five years.

Our conversation with Paula was the last in-person recording of 2020. We met in her office at Columbia in the days before COVID started shutting the world down. Since then I’ve listened to the tape countless times because Paula is an incredible storyteller. She has a direct, clear communication style that makes complex ideas sound simple. I wish she’d run for office.

If you’re interested in contacting Paula about speaking, here’s the place to start. To learn more about her book, try

This episode was produced by Pat Cupples. Not only did he do the reporting and editing, he also provided original music. Additional music is from the band Hotels & Highways.

The fact that you’re listening means you see the opportunity to redesign the intersection of eldercare, senior housing, estate planning, and deathcare. And, if you’re listening it means you’re alive. I hope you enjoy it.