Lessons From the Pandemic

A NEW MAP OF LIFE™

A new article series exploring innovations and solutions to longstanding problems related
to caregiving, the digital divide across generations, the need for workplace flexibility,
financial security and more.

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How do we take care of each other during a pandemic?
A health care crisis? When we’re 24 or 64? Our new podcast,
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together the real-life stories of caregivers and the insights of
leading experts.

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MENTALLY SHARP
PHYSICALLY FIT
FINANCIALLY SECURE

Envisioning a New Map of Life

The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to accelerate and implement scientific discoveries, technological advances, behavioral practices, and social norms so that century long lives are healthy and rewarding.

To further this mission, SCL has launched its New Map of Life™ initiative. In this initiative, researchers define new models for education and lifelong learning, redesign how we work, advise new policies for health care, housing, the environment and financial security, and promote more intergenerational partnerships. It will also advance a new narrative, which redefines what it means to be “old” and values people at different stages of life. Media outlets, advertisers and the entertainment industry will play an important role in this effort by sharing stories and creating new imagery and content about longevity and aging. Read more

Lessons From the Pandemic


Early in the pandemic, we launched the New Map of Life: After the Pandemic project, a collection of short observations about changes as they were occurring, from experts in academia, business, healthcare, the arts and elsewhere. Now, more than a year since COVID-19 erupted, we’ve had time to analyze and reflect about the most significant and lasting changes that have occurred, and about what’s most needed to ensure healthier, longer lives.

In this series of articles to be released over the coming weeks, we address each of these topics in depth, identifying the most pressing issues and seeking solutions.  Read more

LATEST NEW MAP OF LIFE RESEARCH

A Life-Course Model for Healthier Aging

The vulnerabilities that an aging population face during COVID-19 highlight the urgency of re-structuring our society to accommodate this growing proportion of our global community.

In this commentary, published in the first issue of the Lancet Healthy Longevity, we urge societies to adopt principles from the New Map of Life in order to respond with resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more

Between December 2020 and January 2021, SCL conducted the Sightlines 2021 Survey, which collected data from over 1700 participants in the US to understand whether, and to what extent, their financial security, social engagement, and healthy living behaviors have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 80 questions, the survey covers a wide range of topics that span from income, debt, work, insurance coverages and retirement planning, to dating, marriage, family, diet, exercise and more. Here, we highlight several policy briefs that used this survey data to answer various research questions related to the pandemic.

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Mentally Sharp

Absent significant disease, aging is associated with an increase in knowledge and expertise, emotional stability and heightened motivation to engage in meaningful work. At the same time, the speed and efficiency of new learning typically declines with age, as does sensory functioning affecting hearing and vision. Such changes can hamper the effectiveness with which people engage with work, families and communities.

SCL aims to develop and evaluate infrastructures that channel the strengths of older people into families, workplaces, and communities. This includes improving cutting-edge technologies that compensate for deficits in hearing, vision and balance. We work to understand and improve how older people make important decisions about health care and financial matters. We also pursue efforts to distinguish normal from disease-related aging in cognition, so that interventions and policies are targeted appropriately.

Center Team

Marie Conley Smith
Jialu Streeter, PhD

New Map of Life

Education: Ilana Horwitz, PhD, Fellow | Ari Kelman, PhD, Faculty Advisor
Intergenerational Relationships: Sasha Shen Johfre, Fellow | Jeremy Freese, PhD, Faculty Advisor
Early Childhood Influences: Jonas Miller, PhD, Fellow | Ian Gotlib, PhD & Paul Wise, PhD, Faculty Advisors

Featured Research

Spotlight

The Emergence of Life-Long Learning
Chip Conley is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. He currently serves as Airbnb’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership, and is a member of SCL’s Advisory Council.

In 2018, he founded Modern Elder Academy (MEA), the world’s first “midlife wisdom school,” where attendees learn how to repurpose a lifetime of experience for the modern workplace. MEA’s beachfront campus is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

He recently co-authored a white paper with Ingo Rauth, an adjunct professor for Management and Design at IE Business School (Spain), titled “The Emergence of Long Life Learning“, which is intended to be a conversation starter and “a starting point for educators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs who seek to develop programs and schools that help us live a life that is as deep and meaningful as it is long.”

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Video

Online Education Has Exacerbated Inequalities

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Physically Fit

Mobility is strongly associated with quality of life – the ability to move about independently at home and at work, to move about our community, to travel to distant places. Embedded in the concept of mobility is physical fitness across the life course, which is central to the notion of healthy aging.

Maintaining physical fitness is a major focus of SCL’s work, including projects on exercise, reducing sedentary behavior, optimal nutrition, and measurement of fitness through wearable devices.

We continue to work closely with the Stanford Lifestyle Medicine Center.

Center Team

Ken Smith
Marie Conley Smith

New Map of Life

Healthcare & Technology: Andrea Jonas, MD, Fellow | Nirav Shah, MD, Faculty Advisor
Fitness & Lifestyle: Megan Roche, MD, Fellow | Michael Fredericson, MD, Faculty Advisor
Built Environment: Diego Sierra Huertas, Fellow | Rob Jackson, PhD, Faculty Advisor
Environment: Chenghao Wang, PhD, Fellow | Rob Jackson, PhD, Faculty Advisor

Featured Research

Spotlight

Sightlines Project Research Update on Sleep
In a world full of opportunities, stressors, inequalities, and distractions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, and sleep is often the first habit to suffer. Good sleep hygiene is a huge commitment: it takes up about a third of the day, every day, and works best when kept on a consistent schedule. It does not help that the primary short-term symptoms of insufficient sleep can be self-medicated away with caffeine. However, the effects of sleep loss can range from inconvenient to downright dangerous; people have trouble learning and being productive, take risks more readily, and are more likely to get into accidents. These effects also last longer than it takes to get them, as recovering from each night of poor sleep takes multiple days. When it comes to sleep, every night counts. In this update, we will discuss what Stanford researchers have to say about sleep and why we need it, who is getting too little of it, and some of the latest findings that may help us sleep better. Read more

Video

The Role of Residential Housing Segregation in the Burden of COVID19

News

Financially Secure

In an age of unprecedented longevity, a focus on lifelong individual financial security has never been more crucial. The mission of the Financial Security Division is to bring a unique interdisciplinary perspective to financial security issues facing our society by rethinking the perceived problems around an aging population, especially retirement planning and the need to work longer. By understanding the role that research, education and policy can play in solving these issues and by looking at the problems from multiple perspectives, we will drive the dialogue forward in order to facilitate a healthier state of long-term financial security for the individual and society.

Center Team

Martha Deevy
Jialu Streeter, PhD
Steve Vernon, FSA

New Map of Life

Financial Security: Matteo Leombroni, PhD, Fellow | Gopi Shah Goda, PhD, Faculty Advisor
Work: Alice Milivinti, PhD, Fellow | David Rehkopf, PhD, Faculty Advisor

Featured Research

Spotlight

Financial Resilience in America
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to us once again that economic uncertainties are ubiquitous and often hard to predict. We need to stay vigilant and be prepared for the rainy days. When misfortunes strike, the underprepared individuals and families are likely to experience substantial economic instability.

National surveys conducted independently by the Stanford Center on Longevity and by GFLEC at the George Washington University found that more than 1 in 4 respondents wouldn’t be able to pay for an unexpected $2000 expenses within a month.  Read the brief

Video

COVID-19 Will Affect the Careers of Today's Youth

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