The Latest from the Center for the Future of Aging



The Latest from the Center for the Future of Aging

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Recent Events »

On the Horizon »

From Our Board »


Chairman’s Note 

Dear friends and colleagues,

Faced with a rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic that presents particular risks for older adults, it is difficult to pull back and offer perspective. But, for those of us who aim to enhance health, elevate financial security, and promote intergenerational comity, this crisis serves as powerful evidence of the need for change. We can do more to support scientists, disease experts, and care professionals who serve the public and more to promote fact-based advice on health, work, investment, and retirement. We can reinforce the importance of regional, national, and global relationships and advocate for effective public- and private-sector leadership. We can work even more closely with our partners in business, academia, philanthropy, and policy and express our appreciation for their collaboration and support. We can continue our work for change in this very challenging time. 

Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging


Featured News

COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Tracker

The Milken Institute launched a resource to help the public and policymakers track progress in the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. It is developed and maintained by FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, with an Advisory Council comprised of a Nobel Laureate researcher, former FDA chiefs, and industry leaders.

Epidemics and Pandemics as Transnational Issues: The Challenge of the Novel Coronavirus

CFA Director Lauren Dunning coauthored an article for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs about the challenge of COVID-19 transnationally. The outbreak is again challenging the global community, its governance structures, and its mechanisms for international collaboration. Many key data points critical to fully characterize the disease epidemiology of COVID-19—including transmissibility, the potential for asymptomatic spread, and risk factors for severe illness or death—are still emerging. As a result, a collective global response under strong World Health Organization (WHO) leadership, followed by subsequent nation-level implementation, is vital to ensure the good of the many is not sacrificed for the good of the few.

Milken Institute Review “Guest Letter from the CEO” by Paul Irving

Milken Institute Review

The latest edition of the Milken Institute Review focused on climate change. CFA Chairman Paul Irving contributed with a guest letter comparing it to population aging. The failure to adapt to climate change and population aging “would be a costly and socially disruptive error.” Irving argues that we must change, use flexible thinking, and act together to turn population aging into a golden opportunity.


“Three Trends Shaping the Politics of Aging” by Nora Super

In the May edition of the Public Policy & Aging Report from the Gerontological Society of America, Nora Super, CFA senior director, analyzes the three converging trends that will influence our nation’s politics for the next decade. The trends include rising federal spending on older adults, the increasing need for caregivers and mismatch of demand and supply, and the changing geographic concentration of older adults. Super’s article will be published online in April and then mailed-out with the greater thematic issue in mid-May.

Media Featuring the Center for the Future of Aging

  • MarketWatch quoted Paul Irving in their article about the lessons the US can learn from Italy in protecting our elders from the novel coronavirus. “There’s a risk to the broader population as well, but we really need to focus on protecting our elders,” Irving said. “The older a disease-sufferer, the higher the risk.”

  • Insider explored the risks of dining out, carry-out, and delivery during the coronavirus outbreak. Our new Director, Lauren Dunning, contributed her expertise. Dunning stressed that the coronavirus prevention protocols are about keeping yourself, your neighborhood, and your community healthy.   

  • Parade Magazine featured the Center’s work on Age-Forward cities. Using our reports, “Best Cities for Successful Aging” and “Age-Forward Cities for 2030,” Paula Spencer Scott discussed eight of the best cities in which to age well. Caroline Servat, CFA associate director, and Nora Super were quoted in the article.

  • Judith Graham’s New York Times piece addressed the complexity and stigma of a dementia diagnosis with the help of experts who have personal and professional ties to the disease, including Nora Super. The article analyzed the pros and cons of genetic and other diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as the best ways to reduce individual risk.

  • In Kaiser Health News, Judith Graham also interviewed a dozen experts, including Paul Irving, to identify significant trends shaping the next decade for aging boomers. Irving noted that growing inequality will shape the future, asking, “Will the miracles of bioscience be available to all in the next decade—or only to those with the resources and connections to access special treatment?”

  • While participating in the Milken Institute Middle East and Africa Summit, Nora Super was quoted in the largest newspaper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), The National, about “increasing the ‘healthspan' not just the lifespan.” As the Middle East struggles with higher rates of obesity and diabetes, there is an increased need to prevent chronic conditions and promote healthy longevity.

  • The University of Southern California (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology’s podcast, “Lessons in Lifespan Health,” featured Paul Irving and George Shannon, professor of gerontology at USC. The pair discussed the importance of preparing for aging, the need for more positive portrayals of older adults, and the strength and potential of intergenerational teams.

  • Lauren Adams and Amanda Ramos wrote a summary of the Gensler Design event, “Design Forecast New York: Designing a Better World: Equitable and Actionable Solutions.” They highlighted Nora Super’s contributions to the panel, which “emphasized the importance of designing workplaces, residences, civic spaces, and cities that can accommodate multiple generations and different abilities while keeping up with the rapid pace of technological change.”

  • Richard Eisenberg at Next Avenue covered the Transamerica Institute and University of Iowa conference in Denver, Colorado, that focused on preparing Colorado businesses for an aging workforce. The piece highlighted Paul Irving’s keynote that advocated for the value, experience, and knowledge of older workers.


Recent Events

The Alliance to Improve Dementia Care 

In December 2019, the Center convened 30 leaders in Washington, DC, to discuss the next steps to implement the recommendations laid out in the CFA report, “Reducing the Cost and Risk of Dementia: Recommendations to Improve Brain Health and Decrease Disparities.” As a result of that discussion and follow-up interviews with several influential stakeholders, the Center plans to launch the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care. The alliance will bring together partners from health systems, provider groups, industry, research, advocacy, philanthropy, academia, and government to improve communication and collaboration across sectors to advance dementia care. The alliance will raise awareness of scalable private-sector efforts, identify barriers to implementation, and propose policy and systems solutions to improve dementia care.

The Health-Care Systems and Public Health: A Workshop for The Global Roadmap For Healthy Longevity Initiative

A member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity, Paul Irving traveled to Singapore for a commission meeting and workshop. The commission’s charge is to create a roadmap incorporating evidence-based research and recommendations that encourage governments, private organizations, and stakeholders globally to address the health challenges and opportunities presented by population aging. 

Milken Institute Middle East and Africa Summit (MEA)

Nora Super traveled to Abu Dhabi from February 10 to 12, 2020, to raise awareness of longevity issues impacting the region. She moderated two sessions featured in the “Wellness, Performance, and Longevity Track” of the MEA Summit.

Can We Turn Back Time? Investing in Healthy Longevity
CFA - Jim Mellon

Nir Barzilai and Jim Mellon discussed their work in preventing the diseases of aging. Barzilai’s TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) study investigates the multi-morbidities of aging. Mellon’s Juvenescence Ltd was organized to “build a pipeline of therapeutic assets to target aging, regeneration, and the diseases of aging.” Their work to mitigate disease risk and extend healthspan presents exciting possibilities in both science and investment.

Diet and Exercise: Choices Today for a Healthier Tomorrow
Diet and Exercise Panel

Deena Al Asfoor, Her Excellency Hawaa Althahak Al Mansouri, Paige Elenson, and Hugh Waters brought expert perspectives from Oman, UAE, Kenya, and the United States to discuss the health and economic impacts of obesity and diabetes. They discussed successful programs and policies to encourage healthy diets and regular exercise across the lifespan.

First Republic Bank

Paul Irving and Molly Forrest, CEO of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, presented on February 19 about healthy aging, older workers, retirement security, housing, and the challenges for the growing population of homeless older adults.

Age-Friendly Workplace Programs: Recruiting and Retaining Experienced Employees

Paul Irving Keynote

Paul Irving gave a keynote in Colorado on February 27 on the longevity economy and the opportunities that older workers and consumers bring to societies. Transamerica Institute, the University of Iowa, and the Office of Governor Jared Polis hosted the event. Catherine Collinson,  CEO & President of the Transamerica Institute and executive director of the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, served as the master of ceremonies for the conference. The event unveiled the research findings of the Transamerica Institute’s latest initiative, “Colorado’s Above-Fifty Employment Strategies (CAFES).”

From Suffrage to Sustainability: Solutions for the Longevity Crisis in Women’s Health

Nora - CFA Newsletter image

On March 6, Nora Super, with Melissa Stevens, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy, presented on the unequal health and economic burden of dementia on women and the opportunities to reduce the disparities. Super also spoke on a panel about the policies needed to achieve gender parity by 2050, such as paid family leave for eldercare. 


On the Horizon

Global Conference 2020

The Milken Institute’s flagship event is postponed but approaching! The Milken Institute Global Conference has been rescheduled to take place on July 7 to 10, 2020, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The Center plans to host several aging-related sessions on topics such as social isolation and loneliness, the changing nature of work, long-term care financing and delivery crisis, Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnosis and care, global healthy longevity, and the housing affordability crisis. It promises to be an extraordinary event with experts from across the country and the globe.


From Our Board

As a health service to older adults, AARP is hosting webinars, posting articles, and creating videos to provide as much information as possible about the disproportionate risks older adults face due to coronavirus.

Facebook, where CFA Business Council member Freddy Abnousi is the head of Healthcare Research, is giving the World Health Organization free ads to cut down coronavirus misinformation.

Art Bilger, CEO of WorkingNation, is using his platform to keep us all informed about “How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Workforce” during this trying time. 

Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, joined Paul Irving at “The Health Care Systems & Public Health” workshop for the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity Initiative in Singapore. Carstensen also participated in the “Suffrage to Sustainability” event with Nora Super in Washington, DC. 

Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of AgeWave, has a new book available for pre-order, What Retirees Want. Written by Dychtwald and Robert Morrison, the book explores the effect of demographic aging on lifestyles, health, markets, and political priorities. A number of our board members are featured.

Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman, of Edelman Financial Engines, announced they have each committed $1 million in funding for a documentary focusing on groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s disease by Dean Ornish.

Chris Herbert, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, recently released a report, “America’s Rental Housing 2020.” This report explores trends in rental housing and homeownership, including the effect that our aging population has on the market.

Surya Kolluri, Bank of America’s managing director of retirement thought leadership, shared what Bank of America is doing to address increased longevity, disparities, retirement security, and more.

Bob Kramer, founder, and CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), hosted NIC’s 2020 Spring Conference in San Diego. If you were not able to make it, The National Real Estate Investor gave us 19 takeaways from the conference. 

Martine Ferland, president and CEO of Mercer, was at the World Economic Forum’s annual Davos event on January 23 with a panel titled “Redesigning Retirement for Longer Working Lives.” During the panel, she encouraged organizations and experienced workers to embrace upskilling, reskilling and adapting health-care and savings programs for longer lives.

Mark Roithmayr, CEO of Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), teamed up with the Harrington Discovery Institute to announce a joint request for proposals for the 2020 ADDF-Harrington Scholar Award. This award is designed to accelerate the translation of innovative research that could treat, prevent, or slow Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. 

Trent Stamp, CEO of The Eisner Foundation, is always working to unite generations for the greater good of our communities. A MarketWatch piece featured the foundation’s work and explained how the US could improve the health of seniors and toddlers at the same time.

To learn more about our work and to keep up to date on the daily happenings at the Center for the Future of Aging, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Published March 30, 2020