Longevity 2

Grandmother carrying her grandchild

SDSU CEAL promotes the opportunity for long healthy lives with purpose, meaning and equity, adopting a holistic outlook on longevity, both extending the number of years and overall quality of life, as individuals age. Our mission is centered on fostering vitality, resilience, and overall well-being.

Our approach emphasizes shared learning, collaboration and partnering with diverse stakeholders including government, community-based organizations, business, and older adults and their families/caregivers across the following key areas for health and wellbeing:

Longevity infographic

The Challenges:

It is essential to address the older adult, family, community, and societal issues that arise from the rapidly changing demographics from our aging population. Our aging population has an estimated extended life expectancy, with approximately 20 years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. This is known as the longevity dividend, a concept that underscores the potential advantages of investing in strategies that promote healthy aging and productivity during these additional years. This unprecedented lifespan will drive social, health, political and economic changes which will require comprehensive, adaptive solutions that address:

  • Changing population demographics
  • Accessibility, availability, and affordability of healthcare
  • Fostering equity and social justice among diverse communities
  • Reducing social isolation and loneliness
  • Increasing social connections and a sense of belonging
  • Addressing the financial challenges to support livable communities
  • Supporting caregivers’ wellbeing
  • Developing sustainable economic options

Our Solution

We are building a comprehensive approach to enhance the holistic well-being of older adults and their families/caregivers.  Initially, this is achieved by researching, developing, and sharing valuable information to empower older adults. We collaborate/partner with industry leaders and trusted sources to provide innovative, community-based solutions to address both current and emerging issues impacting older adult quality of life.

The Wellness Club

Navigating a System of Wellness, Excellence in Aging, Social Connections, Wellness and Health

The Wellness Club, a collaboration between CEAL and Wellcare by Health Net, embodies an inclusive, community-based approach to fostering health and well-being.  It is purposefully designed to empower older adults by providing a platform for learning, information-sharing, and meaningful community connections that promote a sense of belonging and equity.

Through an intentional focus on four fundamental areas – resource navigation, aging excellence, social connections, and health & wellness – the Wellness Club uses a variety of innovative approaches to engage older adults and those who care for them.  These approaches include in-person empowerment events, an online resource hub, intergenerational experiences, wellness ambassadors, and peer navigation.  Click here to learn more.

Age-Friendly Initiatives

We support programs, policies, and community efforts designed to create environments that support the needs and preferences of people as they age. These initiatives are part of the Age-Friendly Ecosystem and aim to promote healthy and active aging, social inclusion, aging-in-place, and overall well-being across the lifespan.

In 2021, San Diego State University was designated as an Age-Friendly University (AFU). Our commitment spans education, innovation, research, and fostering a holistic, inclusive approach to promoting health and aging across the lifespan.  Click here to learn more.

The SDSU Social Policy Institute and CEAL are on the forefront in San Diego County working with municipalities in developing Age-Friendly Communities and are mission-driven to share lessons learned and support other regions. Learn more about our work.

CEAL is also engaged in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement which is guided by an essential set of evidence based practices (4Ms), causes no harms, and is consistent with what matters to the older adult and their family.

4ms: What matters, Medication, Mind, Mobility

Social Connection

The lack of social connections results in substantial burdens for individuals, communities, and society.

  • Social isolation among older adults leads to an estimated $67 billion in additional Medicare expenditures.
  • Loneliness and isolation are associated with lower academic achievement and worse performance at work.
  • Inadequate social connections are linked to an elevated risk of disease, including a 29% higher risk of heart disease and 32% greater risk of stroke.

Building upon the Surgeon General’s Six Pillars to Advance Social Connection, our commitment to combating social isolation and loneliness is evident through a variety of initiatives:

  • The SDSU Intergenerational CallHub, a collaborative effort between CEAL and Determined Health, facilitates meaningful conversations between students and older adults.
  • The SDSU Intergenerational Alliance (IGA) serves as a bridge, fostering relationships among students, alumni, older adults, and community organizations.
  • We are actively exploring innovative opportunities for intergenerational housing, aiming to create inclusive living environments where both students and older adults can thrive.
  • CEAL hosts a diverse range of events throughout the year, uniting individuals of all ages and backgrounds to foster connection and community.
  • The CEAL blog, authored by SDSU students, serves as a platform dedicated to raising awareness about older adult issues and fostering meaningful discussions.