In this Issue:
We greet the New Year with mixed emotions. The COVID-19 pandemic is raging, and with it a crush of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Our political divides seem wider than ever and the threats to our democratic institutions can be demoralizing. But 2021 brings vaccines, treatments, and what we hope will be a time of more competent and collaborative governance.
Last year will not only be remembered for the virus. 2020 elevated awareness of the risks of social isolation and loneliness, job loss and financial insecurity, and inequities in opportunity and outcome. As the virus’ worst effects subside, we must push harder to advance our work to promote healthy longevity and financial wellness. We must do more to support the efforts of our board members and partner organizations. We must bring together change makers to transform hearts and minds and find meaningful solutions.
We enter 2021 optimistic about the possibilities and promise and confident that your support and active participation will sustain us. All in our Center wish you and your families a healthy, happy, and productive year ahead.
—Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging
Advancing Telehealth during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
Lauren Dunning, director at the Center for the Future of Aging, in collaboration with Milken Institute colleagues, identified opportunities to scale access to telehealth services, foster health equity, and support innovation in a new brief.
“Together Apart: Findings from the Social Isolation Impact Summit”
Written by Caroline Servat, associate director at the Center, and supported by The SCAN Foundation this report summarizes our summit with MPTF. Summit participants discussed the challenges and opportunities to promote social connection across diverse communities and elevate intergenerational cohesion. In the report Scott Kaiser, MPTF’s chief innovation officer, and Center Senior Director Nora Super issue a call to action to reimagine and restructure the way we engage, care, and connect.
COVID-19 and the Future of Aging
In partnership with PBS’ Next Avenue, experts from the Center’s Advisory Board share their perspectives on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in a new interview series. Read the latest essays from Richard Ashworth, Art Bilger, Henry Cisneros, Nanette Cocero, Pinchas Cohen, Linda Fried, Scott Frisch, Christopher Herbert, Cinny Kennard, Robert Kramer, Penny Pennington, Phil Pizzo, and Trent Stamp. The series will continue in the New Year—keep an eye out for interviews published weekly.
Older Adults—A Resilient Resource
Paul Irving wrote op-eds for PBS NextAvenue and The Longevity Forum about resilience and the coping skills, experience, and wisdom that older adults gain over the years to provide stability in times of adversity.
Media: Podcasts, Webinars, Op-Eds, and More
Paul Irving joined the National University of Singapore Yung Loo Lin School of Medicine webinar series on healthy longevity.
Listen here to a conversation between Paul Irving and Professor George Shannon of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology on growing older, changing retirement, and the value of volunteering.
Tricia Reilly Koch and Doro Bush Koch invited Paul Irving to their “Health Gig” podcast to discuss purposeful aging, older workers, and the longevity economy.
“Promoting an Age-Inclusive Workforce: Living, Learning and Earning Longer”
This report presents a business case for age diversity in the workplace and is the culmination of two years of research, interviews, and case studies conducted as part of the Living, Learning and Earning Longer initiative. The Center served as a knowledge partner, working with the World Economic Forum, AARP, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Future of Health Summit + Asia Summit
“Realizing the Promise of Telehealth During the Pandemic and Beyond”: Krista Drobac, Rod Hochman, Lewis Levy, John Squire, and Mohana Ravindranath discussed the shift to telehealth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and our new policy recommendations to promote innovation, access, and health equity.
“Reducing Health and Economic Disparities in Dementia Care”: The Milken Institute Alliance to Improve Dementia Care works to improve care for people living with dementia and their families. Katie Brandt, Lenise Cummings-Vaughn, Terry Montgomery, Kai Walker, and Sarah Lock discussed promising policy changes, care models, and services and supports to achieve health equity in the diagnosis and care of dementia.
“Innovative Solutions in Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery”: This session, featuring Jeff Huber, Thomas Moriarty, David O’Leary, Nora Super, and Anne Tumlinson, explored care delivery and financing models that could transform the long-term care market for middle-income America.
“Two Perspectives, One Goal: Strategies Across the Pacific for Healthy Longevity”: Paul Irving moderated a discussion with Victor Dzau, Linda Fried, Glenna Shen, and John Eu-Li Wong about innovations and promising practices that can be shared across the Pacific to elevate healthy longevity.
The Institute hosted a virtual Global Conference October 12-21. Watch the Center’s panels at the links below:
“Retirement Security: The COVID-19 Wake-Up Call”: Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Penny Pennington, and Rick Newman discussed how TIAA and Edward Jones seek to address the growing retirement gap and shared their perspectives on policy innovations to support financial wellness.
“Social Isolation: Confronting the Silent Pandemic”: MPTF’s Scott Kaiser moderated an inspirational panel about loneliness stories that have come out of the pandemic. Linda Goler Blount, Jeff Huber, Dora Hughes, and Kim McCoy Wade discussed resources and services that facilitate social connection, even in a physically-distanced time.
“Healthy Longevity: New Strategies for a New Normal”: Nora Super moderated a discussion among Freddy Abnousi, Richard Ashworth, Anna Dixon, and Freda Lewis-Hall on how, even in the time of the pandemic, we can drive innovation, shift policy, and advance a future of healthier longevity.
On the Horizon
Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery
In collaboration with the Institute’s Innovative Finance team and in partnership with Genworth Financial, the Center moved our long-term care (LTC) research forward by conducting a Financial Innovations Lab in October, bringing together experts to evaluate funding and care delivery models.
Following the Lab, we convened three working sessions to discuss potential solutions:
Designing a large-scale Medicare Advantage demonstration project to test the effectiveness of technology and home-based interventions in reducing cost and improving care
Scaling up and adapting integrated care models (e.g., PACE, Special Needs Plans) to provide flexible, low-cost, high-value services for targeted Medicare-only enrollees with complex needs in partnership with states, the senior housing sector, and other parties
Identifying options for complementary public and private insurance solutions to expand LTC coverage for middle-class individuals
We will share the final recommendations in a forthcoming report in 2021. McKnight’s Senior Living summarized the Future of Health public session’s key takeaways on this work.
The Alliance to Improve Dementia Care
With over 60 cross-sector members, the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care is moving quickly to accomplish three goals: improve health equity, bolster workforce capacity, and advance new collaborative dementia care models. The Alliance convened two roundtables to develop actionable recommendations.
The first roundtable focused on reducing health and economic disparities in dementia. McKnight’s Senior Living published a preview of recommendations that came out of the roundtable. A report is slated for release in March.
The second roundtable focused on building dementia workforce capacity to improve screenings and diagnosis. A report is slated for release in April.
In November, the Center welcomed Diane Ty as director of the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care, based in our Washington, DC, office. Ty has held several leadership roles over the last 30+ years in the government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Most recently, she served as senior partner and project director for Business for Impact at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Nora Super continues to serve as the Alliance’s executive director.
With the generous support of Edward Jones, the Center will host a policy roundtable on retirement security in 2021. Stay tuned for details.
The Retirement Income Institute recently announced its first call for papers for 2021. The call requests essays on protected lifetime income and the COVID-19 pandemic, literature review proposals, and scholarly works-in-progress proposals. Nora Super serves on the Retirement Income Institute’s Scholars Advisory Group.
Bank of America’s head of retirement and personal wealth solutions, Lorna Sabbia, wrote an advocacy piece for America’s working caregivers in American Banker.
Founder and CEO of WorkingNation, Arthur Bilger, joined Bloomberg Businessweek to discuss COVID-19’s long-term impact on the US labor force. Bilger focused on education reform and opportunities for lifelong learning.
Angelique Chan, executive director of the Centre for Ageing Research & Education, Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore, wrote an op-ed for The Conversation about the cross-Pacific learnings on older adult care.
Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute, authored a report about “Women and Retirement: Risks and Realities Amid COVID-19.”
William Dow, professor of health policy and management at Berkeley Public Health, released new research that finds that an increased minimum wage and earned income tax credit can reduce deaths due to drug overdose, suicide, and alcohol, also known as “deaths of despair.”
Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation, is one of our Leadership Council’s newest additions. The foundation is collaborating with Health Affairs for a new series about age-friendly health. Health Affairs is accepting submissions that aim to inform policies to improve the care of older adults and cover issues that range from COVID-19 to health equity.
Ruth Finkelstein, Rose Dobrof executive director and professor of Urban Public Health at the Brookdale Center for Aging, was recognized by City & State New York as one of 30 women in the public sphere who have made notable contributions to society.
Linda Fried, dean of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, announced an initiative to advance the school’s efforts to transform into a fully inclusive institution. Read about FORWARD (Fighting Oppression, Racism, and White supremacy through Action, Research, and Discourse).
Bob Kramer of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is working on a national study with NORC at the University of Chicago to reveal how the effects of COVID-19 on residents differ between various senior housing and care settings.
Fernando Torres-Gil, director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, joined a panel at the 11th annual Journalists in Aging Fellows Program to discuss the aftermath of the election and prospects for social and income security.