The 100-year life is here. We're not ready.

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100 Years to Thrive

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  launched The 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.

In the United States, as many as half of today’s 5-year-olds can expect to live to the age of 100, and this once unattainable milestone may become the norm for newborns by 2050. Yet, the social institutions, norms and policies that await these future centenarians evolved when lives were only half as long and need updating. The Stanford Center on Longevity launched The New Map of Life, believing that one of the most profound transformations of the human experience calls for equally momentous and creative changes in the ways we lead these 100-year lives, at every stage. We can meet challenges that longevity creates if we act now. Read more

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FACULTY AFFILIATE NEWS

Teen brains aged faster than normal from pandemic stress, study saysThe Washington Post

The stress of pandemic lockdowns prematurely aged the brains of teenagers by at least three years and in ways similar to changes observed in children who have faced chronic stress and adversity, a study has found. The study, published Thursday in Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science, was the first to compare scans of the physical structures of teenagers’ brains from before and after the pandemic started, and to document significant differences, said lead author Ian Gotlib, l a psychology professor at Stanford University and a Stanford Center on Longevity faculty affiliate.

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.

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.”

news? Read more

Video

Online Education Has Exacerbated Inequalities

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.

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

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.

Featured Research

Spotlight

A New Year’s Resolution: Manage Debt
By Jialu Streeter

In a recent study by the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University, researchers showed that financial wellbeing could be assessed by three categories of questions: (1) how people manage debt and cash flow, (2) how they build wealth, and (3) their understanding of financial risks. Read more

Video

A New Year’s Resolution: Manage Debt