In this Issue
Even an optimist must acknowledge that these are dark days. COVID-19 has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands around the world. Inequity brings protests to American streets. Businesses and families face unprecedented economic stresses, while global alliances are endangered. For those committed to the health and well-being of older adults, the challenges couldn’t be more obvious. But this moment presents great possibilities as well. The virus makes an obvious case for investment in science and healthy longevity. Job losses and financial insecurity argue for new policies and practices to support financial wellness. Splintered communities lay bare the urgent need to heal racial, economic, and age divides. This is an all-hands-on-deck time, and each of us has an opportunity to build a better future. Your support and active involvement inspire and sustain us as we continue our work in this very challenging time.
— Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging
For continuously updated information about the Center’s publications, articles, and recommendations on COVID-19, please see our response page.
“Finding Purpose in the Time of Coronavirus”
Paul Irving reminds us that finding a purpose during this pandemic can elevate health, well-being, and resilience. Read Irving’s seven ideas for finding purpose in Next Avenue.
“Cities Must Do More to Protect Older Homeless Americans from COVID-19”
Paul Irving and Center Director Lauren Dunning co-authored an op-ed for US News & World Report about the urgent need for response measures to decrease the risk of the virus to homeless older Americans. Read the article here.
“Age Must Not Be Used as the Primary Criteria to Deny Treatment”
Center Senior Director Nora Super and James Appleby, CEO of the Gerontological Society of America, wrote an op-ed for The Hill presenting the case to decision-makers that chronological age does not determine health status or value. Widespread misunderstanding about the aging process is one of the main factors threatening to put older people at risk of being denied access to life-saving treatments. Read their op-ed here.
“Epidemics and Pandemics as Transnational Issues”
Lauren Dunning co-authored an article with Robert J. Kim Farley, professor-in-residence at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about transnational cooperation during health crises. Read the article in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
“Building a Dementia-Capable Workforce amid COVID-19”
In response to COVID-19, we updated the recommendations from our 2019 report, “Reducing the Cost and Risk of Dementia,” to address the particular challenges facing people living with dementia and their caregivers. Several of our initial recommendations were adopted as part of the federal government’s response to COVID-19. Our brief reviews recent funding and policy updates and actionable recommendations to meet our goal of building a COVID-19 ready, dementia-capable workforce.
Long-Term Care Landscape Analysis with the Milken Innovative Finance Team
In partnership with the Transamerica Institute and the Milken Institute Innovative Finance team, we conducted market research, analyzed barriers to meeting the long-term care (LTC) needs of Americans, and developed recommendations on improving LTC funding and delivery throughout the US.
Potential Solutions Include:
Improve accessibility to personal and retirement savings and assets
Develop new public and private LTC insurance solutions
Expand Medicare benefits
Expand cost-efficient delivery models and technology solutions
Design new innovative funding models for more affordable housing that allows for more integrated service delivery
We seek to continue this work through our Financial Innovations Labs series, solution-specific research, and convening opportunities to test these models and to build consensus and interest in moving towards implementation. Visit our long-term care web page or email FIL@milkeninstitute.org to learn more about the project and the next steps.
“Three Trends Shaping the Politics of Aging”
In the May edition of the “Public Policy & Aging Report” from the Gerontological Society of America, Nora Super analyzes three converging trends that will influence our nation’s politics for the next decade: the rising of federal spending on older adults, the increasing need for caregivers and mismatch of demand and supply, and the changing geographic concentration of older adults.
Milken Institute Power of Ideas Special Edition: Rebuilding after COVID-19
Business Council and Academic and Policy Committee Members Art Bilger, Pinchas Cohen, Christopher Herbert, Jennifer Molinsky, and Trent Stamp contributed their expertise to the Milken Institute Power of Ideas essay series on COVID-19.
Art Bilger, founder and CEO of WorkingNation, raised examples of successful programs and initiatives that will better prepare us for the future of work. He argues that we need to focus on upskilling the newly unemployed to ensure they are competitive in the quickly evolving workplace.
Pinchas Cohen, dean of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, discussed the importance of geroscience to prevent underlying conditions and protect from the worst effects of the virus.
Christopher Herbert, managing director, and Jennifer Molinsky, senior research associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, likened the pandemic to a stress test of our societal and community supports for aging in place. The long-term lessons we learn from this stress test, communication through technology, and more, could help to minimize the isolation of our oldest citizens after the virus crisis is over.
Trent Stamp, CEO of the Eisner Foundation, opened up about the loneliness and social isolation we are all experiencing due to social distancing. He observed that we “need massive organizational and structural changes in our society driven by the premise that older people are indeed people,” to ensure that older people do not continue to experience loneliness and social isolation even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Milken Institute COVID-19 Community Explorer
The Milken Institute’s Community Explorer provides a simple way to explore geographic clusters of communities affected by the pandemic and their socioeconomic, demographic, and health-related features.
While communities with a greater elderly, Black, or Hispanic population may be more impacted by COVID-19, the Community Explorer displays additional factors that coexist with race and age. Understanding how underlying socioeconomic variables and demographic information (including race and age) interact may be the key to identifying which communities are most vulnerable to COVID-19. Find it on our website here.
“Fight the Coronavirus by Defending the Host”
Paul Irving teamed up with Nir Barzilai, professor of medicine and genetics and director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to discuss the impacts of chronic disease on COVID-19 risk in an op-ed for US News & World Report. They argue that “building widespread resilience to mitigate the impacts of the virus should be a public priority. A multifaceted national campaign to address the "other epidemic" of chronic disease is already long overdue.” Read the op-ed here.
“Conversations with Mike Milken” Featuring Jo Ann Jenkins
On April 16th, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins joined Milken Institute Chairman Mike Milken on his podcast to discuss what her organization is doing to help Americans 50 and older during the coronavirus crisis. Listen here or anywhere you can find podcasts.
Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative’s Deep Dive on Health Longevity
From March 23rd to 27th, Academic and Policy Committee Members Marc Freedman of Encore.org, Christopher Herbert of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, and Andrew Scott of the London Business School participated alongside Paul Irving in the “Healthy Longevity Deep Dive” at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. The speakers covered topics including the global demography of aging, the value of multigenerational engagement, the need for supportive housing for an aging population, and much more.
Compass National Agent Call with Nora Super and Jay Bhatt
Nora Super joined Jay Bhatt, senior vice president and chief medical officer for the American Hospital Association, on April 6th for a webinar about the challenges of COVID-19. Super warned the audience against age bias during and after the pandemic, talked about staying socially connected during physical distancing, and reminded the audience to take care of their physical and mental health during this crisis. Watch the full webinar here.
Milken Institute Webinar: Retirement Security in the Wake of COVID-19
On April 28th, Paul Irving led a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on retirement security featuring Marcie Frost, CEO of CalPERS; Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones; Michelle Seitz, chairman and CEO of Russell Investments; and Mike Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute. The webinar focused on how the COVID-19 crisis may transform retirement and investment and how those planning for retirement can weather financial disasters and enhance financial security. Watch the webinar or read the summary here.
Bank of America Northern Virginia Market Longevity Event
On May 13th, Nora Super presented on our Center’s long-term care work and the potential solutions we put forward to improve LTC funding and delivery. She also discussed the unique challenges for people living with dementia and their caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milken Institute Webinar: Life in Isolation: How to Fight the Loneliness Epidemic
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global, Scott Kaiser, chief innovation officer, Motion Picture and Television Fund, and Lisa Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation, joined Nora Super on May 26th to discuss ways to combat loneliness and social isolation for all ages amid COVID-19. The group emphasized solutions that engage multigenerational participants, explored how the pandemic has raised structural inequities in the health system in the treatment of older adults, and highlighted employer and community-based best practices to foster trust, social connection, and mental resilience. Watch their conversation here.
Emerging Technologies to Reduce the Cost and Risk of Dementia
On May 26th, Center for the Future of Aging Associate Director Raj Ahuja participated in a virtual panel during the iLTCI conference, titled “Emerging Technologies to Reduce the Cost and Risk of Dementia.” He was joined by John Harrison, associate professor at Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, and Jordan Glenn, vice president of clinical development at Neurotrack. They discussed early identification and intervention as critical factors in reducing the cost and risk of dementia, as well as the future of cognitive testing. Watch their conversation here.
The Milken Institute is hosting an invitation-only, week-long virtual program to explore the most pressing topics of the day with leaders in health, finance, and philanthropy. The series is taking place from Monday, June 22nd to Friday, July 26th. As part of the Summer Series, the Center is leading discussions on the long-term care crisis. We are also hosting a private listening session for California state officials and industry leaders to provide input on the California Master Plan on Aging (scheduled to be released by the end of 2020).
On Friday, June 26th at 10 am PDT tune into a live-streamed panel featuring Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to learn more about the current status of COVID-19 research. Some panels will also be made available on our website in the weeks following the series.
Alliance for Lifetime Income: iHeart Rolling Stones No Filter Radio Tour
The Alliance for Lifetime Income is partnering with iHeartRadio for a six-city summer radio tour to engage Rolling Stones fans with the iconic band’s hits. The exclusive programming will occur between June 26 - July 31 on local radio stations in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. Visit the radio tour webpage to learn more.
On the Horizon
Social Isolation Impact Summit
The Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Center are co-hosting a Social Isolation Impact Summit on July 1st to explore the critical efforts to help keep us all connected. Key influencers, service providers, and other leaders will provide inspiration and actionable insights to enable us to come together to effectively combat loneliness. Register for the summit here.
Alliance to Improve Dementia Care
Building upon the recommendations we released in November 2019, the Center plans to launch the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care this summer. We seek to develop a dementia-capable workforce and system to effectively identify people at risk for or living with dementia, tailor services to meet their needs and those of their caregivers, and ensure they get the right care at the right time. The Alliance will engage public- and private-sector decision-makers to collaborate and advance care models, and build a dementia-capable system and workforce that can improve health outcomes, reduce costs, and support caregivers. To learn more about the Alliance, please reach out to Center Associate Director Raj Ahuja.
From Our Advisory Board
Amgen, in partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies, is working on a treatment for COVID-19 by looking at immunology, genetics, and antibodies as potential areas for development.
Andrew Scott, professor of economics, former deputy dean at the London Business School, and co-founder of the Longevity Forum, recently published an article emphasizing how population aging should change the response to the COVID-19 crisis, in comparison to previous pandemics. Scott’s new book, The New Long Life, explores how technology and AI influence the future of work, family life, and education.
The Annenberg Foundation is adjusting funding priorities to help fill the gaps and ensure the survival of those most impacted by the virus.
To address financial gaps caused by COVID-19, Bank of America released a $1 billion corporate social bond, the first of its kind from a commercial bank in the US, to accelerate vaccine development, support health care for virus patients, and boost manufacturing of personal protective equipment.
The Eisner Foundation, led by CEO Trent Stamp, released a rapid response fund, targeting social isolation of older adults in Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 crisis.
Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and executive chairman of CityView, joined a panel created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to build a strategic plan for safely reopening New York.
Howard Fillit, founding executive director and chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, published an article highlighting the challenges of dementia caregiving during this crisis.
Jim Mellon, chairman of Juvenescence, endowed £1 million to the Oriel College of Oxford University in support of longevity research, collaboration, and translation to other fields, including social sciences, humanities, and engineering.
National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) Founder and Strategic Advisor Bob Kramer has launched a new consulting firm focused on revolutionizing the senior housing industry for a post-COVID world.
Pfizer, in collaboration with the Pfizer Foundation, is providing $40 million in grant funds to communities and health-care systems in need of support, as well as donating medicines and vaccines for other illnesses.
Ric Edelman, founder and CEO of Edelman Financial Engines, was recently nominated by Think Advisor as a 2020 Investment Advisor VIP for uncertain times and shared his advice for the finance industry on prioritizing client needs during the crisis.
Scott Frisch, executive vice president and chief operating officer of AARP, published an op-ed discussing the value of empathy in leadership as employees learn to adapt and cope with the shock of change, especially during an unprecedented societal shift.
The Stanford Center on Longevity, in collaboration with the Longevity Project, is hosting a series of webinars discussing the impact of COVID-19 on different sectors, including technology, work, and education.
As part of its annual Retirement Survey, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released a special report examining the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on financial stability across generations.
WorkingNation released coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of the job market, from an increased need for health-care workers to retraining and re-skilling for the crisis and beyond.