Age Simulation

As society ages, both academic and corporate researchers are trying to (1) understand the effects of aging on individuals (and society), (2) empathize with Elders and (3) develop “Elder friendly” products and services.  In my Communication & Aging course, we use versions of the Xtreme Aging Workshop that I learned at the Macklin Intergenerational institute to simulate the experience of aging and sensitize students to the conditions and needs of Elders.

I wish we had the resources to either develop or purchase age simulation suits, which are very expensive.  Anyway, here are some age simulation links that you may find interesting.

MIT AgeLab

GERT Age Simulation Suit


61 Responses to Age Simulation

  1. Hannah Hayduk says:

    After completing the Aging Simulation, it is easier to see how elders might withdraw from society because of their pain, difficulty navigating around other people, and the reinforcements of negative thoughts. While picking objects with the grabber was easy, the majority of the tasks performed were not.

    Putting the kernels in the shoes was uncomfortable. Often, I compensated for the one foot by standing on the other. Yet this placed greater burden on my other foot. I cannot imagine the pain after multiple hours trying to live independently. This would also affect the ability of an elder to maintain a happy outlook when they are so uncomfortable.

    The glasses, while restricting one’s ability to read also affected our ability to move around each other. It is a fearful situation when one can’t see the hustle and bustle of other people. I value my ability to observe those around me through hearing and vision. I can stay out of the way, which is part of my introverted personality, while learning many things. If my vision and hearing were degraded all the time, I can understand how I would prefer to stay isolated.

    Along with all the difficulties associated with aging, birthday cards are not helping. They poked jokes at the difficulties. It’s similar to feeling horrible in the morning, perhaps because one is sick or had a bad night of sleep, and someone remarking, “You look terrible today.” That is supposed to make one feel better how? If an elder is confronted with negative thoughts, it is going to be harder for them to remain positive about their own life.

    Thinking positively has a large effect on health and the ability to recover. After the Aging Simulation and the thoughts presented in the Aging and Communication class, I found the cards insulting and distasteful. This would eventually have an adverse effect on my health. Having priority senses cut off, a negative stereotype to constantly combat under difficult and painful circumstances, I can sympathize with elders. As someone who will one day be in their shoes, it is important to me to start making a world more accessible and accepting of elders.

    *****Side Note: For future aging stimulations, Bungee cords or stretchy exercise bands could be used for additional resistance.

  2. Josh Williams says:

    During our aging simulation in class, we were given many different objects to create the feeling of being older. It was very interesting I thought. We used corn to put in our shoes which created the feeling of our feet constantly hurting and showing how hard it is for elderly people to be on their feet for long periods of time. We were given glasses of many different types to show how different their vision is. It was crazy because in some of the glasses you could barely see anything at all; you were practically blind. We had to use a grabber to pick up things we dropped as well. We also played card games, tried to read and pick out birthday cards for family members and many other day to day activities that seem so easy for us, but create so many problems for someone older. Of course, I’ve always thought things were a little more difficult for older people to accomplish, but I had no idea it was that bad as seen when I was put in their shoes. It seems like their day to day life is very difficult and frustrating. It scares me and makes me not want to grow old. I keep wandering what my life will be like and if I will even be able to care and provide myself. It’s really a scary thought and blows my mind to see how time can do that to a person. We have to figure out a way to make the daily lives of elders easier.

  3. Austin Crawford says:

    These videos were very interesting to me, I think the research and technology being used at this point in time is amazing. I think if simulations like this or more videos of similar simulations received more publicity then the understanding of how it is for old people to live would be taken in to consideration by more people. Every day people make some type of comment or insult old people because of how slow their driving, how long it takes the to do a simple task or how slow they may be walking. I think the majority of people do this because they don’t understand what it’s like to be old and the challenges that people face. These simulations help you realize that. If you are constantly talking bad about old people or avoiding them because of the situations listed above then there is definitely a lack communication between the two generations. I believe if people become more aware of the challenges old people face and why it may take them to do some things longer then they will not get so easily upset, and they may actually offer to help older individuals which could increase the overall communication between older and younger generations. I also think if people can somewhat understand how it is to live when your older, the transition for them in the future will be easier and they may be able to improve communication with younger people in the future. More research will only educate people in the future and make it easier for them to communicate with older generations.

    -Austin Crawford

  4. Spencer Reed says:

    The Age simulation that we did in class was very eye opening. I understand that its not close to what the real struggles are, but it gave us a glimpse of what it like. I can tell you that I am not looking forward to these problems, because the simulations themselves were very annoying and difficult. The hardest thing was trying the various activities with the wearing the glasses that simulated various eye diseases. I didn’t realize that there were so may of these eye diseases and that they are very unique. Some blurred your vision, some blocked half your sight, or even blurred one corner of your eye sight. So these glasses made it difficult to pick up things like pills, cards, and even cell phones. this simulation made me realize that older people go through a lot just in one day and that they are to respected a lot more than they are.

  5. dakota brown says:

    For our age simulation workshop I know we didn’t have the actual age simulation suits but the use of what resources we did have opened my eyes and gave me a good idea of some of the obstacles to come with aging. The biggest change and the most surprising was how affected a person’s vision would become. On a few of the eye illnesses I basically could not see. Then as we continued to try and do some everyday tasks on top of not being able to see all of our other senses were impaired which didn’t make the tasks impossible, but it defiantly made them difficult and very time consuming. It made some easy to do everyday activities aggravating and tedious. Also the corn in our shoe was not painful but it was extremely annoying and would drive me crazy if I had to deal with that feeling everyday. At the end of the simulation workshop it was a relief to have all of my senses back, but I am not a lot more knowledgeable about aging and its obstacles.

  6. Alyx White says:

    It was very interesting to go through different age simulation tactics in class. It was eye opening to see how different and hard some things could be. For example, the glasses had different eye diseases or disorders some elderly people may have to endure. I had a pair that had a disorder where if I looked down it was blocked and it looked as if it were just black. I had popcorn kernels underneath of my feet making it hard to walk as well. Also with gloves on it was really hard to type in phone numbers on the cell phone and flip through pages in the telephone book. The hardest part though was trying to arrange the pills in the medicine boxes, and pick stuff up off the ground with a grabber. I think these age simulation suits and the activities we did really make you realize some of the things the elderly have to go through and makes you have more sympathy for them. It can make you realize why it is so hard to walk sometimes, or why they will drive so much slower. By realizing this, I think it would help a lot of younger generations have more patience when dealing with the elderly and think twice before getting angry at certain things they do. It is difficult to really see through their eyes until you step into their shoes and go through what they do. These suits are a really cool idea that those with the money should invest in.

  7. Jeffrey Boards says:

    In the age simulation exercise, I learned that becoming an elder is a really big step in life. It makes life more of a challenge in everyday activity. The struggle they go through with even the simplest of task is astonishing. Their eye sight begins to fade away making it harder to see small print, big print, road signs, pill labels, telephone numbers and countless of other things that they need every bit of their eye sight for. In the age simulation exercise I wore a pair of glasses that were supposed to simulate cataract and elders with this deficiency have no peripheral vision and have to literally turn their head to focus see something. We used gloves to simulate lack of touch sensors in the hands. This made it hard for us to really feel the texture of certain items and to hold on to them. Another simulation that we performed was using ear plugs to simulate hearing loss. This made it hard for me to hear what someone else was saying and I can only imagine what it feels like to be in a loud area and have a lack of hearing. Through these exercises we could see that the elderly have a really hard time adjusting to the new generations and one can begin to understand their world. These experiences also makes us sensitive to the elderly and appreciate the company of the elderly more after seeing what changes they have gone through.

  8. Yazeed Davids says:

    Yazeed Davids
    Age simulation
    At the start of this age simulation I thought it would be a fun experience, but I soon came to realize that being an old person was no joke at all. We started off with putting in some ear plugs, which made it really difficult to hear what the professor was saying. Then we had to wear a glove and tape two fingers together, which affected my sense of touch. Wearing the glasses that obscured your view, even made things more difficult, as we were required to do a number of activities around the class. The one thing that was really interesting was the popcorn in the shoe. The pain of walking with popcorn in my shoes was horrible.

    This simulation has given me a different perspective on the elderly, and I think if more younger people should do this simulation it will eliminate the stereotypes against older people.

    After doing this simulation I have come to respect old people even more than I did before. What old people have to go through on a daily basis makes me appreciate my health, but at the same time I have much more patience with old people because I have experienced somewhat of what and old person has to go through on a daily basis.

  9. Mackenzie Beaudrie says:

    When we did the aging simulation in class, I found it very interesting how many different types of eye problems people could have. There were a number of different glasses to simulate different seeing problems. While using those it made it very difficult to do things. It was hard to read the birthday cards or play a game of cards. It was hard to see where to put the pills in the pill container. What made that even more difficult was the fact that our fingers were duct taped together and we had a glove on. We could not bend our two fingers to put the pills in which simulated advanced stages of arthritis. Adding on to all that was when we were given earplug, it made it very difficult to hear things clearly. I could hear sounds but it was hard to make out the words of what people were saying. There was an incident where I dropped one of the phones and I bent over real quick to get it, I was instructed that I wasn’t allowed to bend over that I had to use this stick to pick it up. That would be very annoying if I was physically unable to bend over and pick things up for my self. To constantly be in physical pain would be miserable. Overall I really enjoyed this simulation and it gave me a better understanding of some of the problems that people face as they get older. A lot of old people get made fun of but they can’t help the problems that they have and some are actually very difficult to deal with.

  10. Branden Cresap says:

    The aging simulation that we went through really made me think about the about the difficulties that come along with age and gave me a look into what it is like to simply perform some every day activities. Being that I am only 21 years old, I do not recognize or think about the difficulty elders have doing these everyday tasks that I take for granted every day. What made things most difficult for me were the glasses that made our vision impaired. I do not have good eyesight to begin with and the glasses made that even worse. I know that as I get older my vision will most likely become even worse than it is now and I will probably have more trouble seeing. I had not thought about this sort of thing until we did the simulation because it is simply something I don’t think about regularly. The simulation also opened my eyes to the thought of the feeling in your hands because of the gloves we were wearing. It was difficult for me to simply put medicine tablets into a container because of the lack of use of my fingers and my hand. Overall, I think the simulation was a good thing to do because it gives you a small look into how elder people may struggle with everyday tasks that people in my generation probably take for granted. This simulation changed the way I look at older people and now I can have a small amount of empathy for them because I know better what they are going through.

  11. Russ Morse says:

    I enjoyed this activity in class even if it wasn’t as technologically advanced as the videos. I would have to say my favorite part was using the grabber just because it seemed like it would be the most challenging aspect once you get older. The worst would have to been walking around with popcorn in your shoes. However, it is a neat way to get an idea of the obstacles that older people face in their everyday lives. It’s also extremely helpful to have this technology so that companies can make more efficient products to accommodate the elderly in their lifestyles. As seen in The Strait Story, Alvin was able to many different tools to aid him in moving around or grabbing stuff in a time where technology hadn’t really impacted the economy. Now we could only imagine what tools will be in store for the future.

  12. Storm Lilly says:

    I think this suite is a great device for getting younger people to empathize and understand what it’s like to grow old. Once we can understand what it’s like to be old then we can help make things more old people friendly and better every ones life no matter how old because its demoralizing not being able to do the things we once done effectively or as fast as we once did them. We need to relate to our older citizens to make them feel accepted because everyone’s number one fear is not being accepted, we can do this by getting them more in involved in the new and current technology. Keeping them in the loop and up to date will not only make their life’s better but also the communities life because they wont be moving as slow or they would be able to find different ways to get what they need so they won’t be “in the way” as much for lack of a better term.

  13. Emajii Graves says:

    Me doing this age simulator really showed me the difficulties older people have. That first thing I noticed that would suck to have is having a seeing disability. I think the glasses I had were called psi. Which made my vision very foggy which gave me some sort of confusing. I see it would be tough if I had to do that in everyday life. Like in simple such as playing card, reading a book, reading pill medications is very rough. Another thing that really bothered me the most was not being able to hear and walking around with the corn in my shoe. The fact that I can here just fine would drive me insane if I couldn’t really here what’s going on around me. Then walking around with corn in my shoes sucked. The content pain of walking on them is not fun at all. Although this was a very eye open event, this showed me that there are many sets that I can take to prevent these horrible this t happen to me. As of now I have started to turn the volume of things down and learned not to be so rough with my body. You only get one and I want to be able to use mine at its full patentable. This experiment showed me a lot and I’m not looking forward to doing something like that again

  14. Brady Sims says:

    I feel like this activity really helped to open my eyes on the fact of getting older. I always hear my grandpa constantly asking what people said and them having to repeat themselves over and over for him to grasp the subject. And also him dropping things on the floor do to not having as much sensitivity in his hands as he use to. After trying to listen with the earplugs in it made me understand if just for a short period of time what older people have to go through everyday of their lives. The most surprising thing to me was trying on all glasses that simulated different eye diseases. Because this is something that you can not really fully understand unless you have it yourself because you are the only one that your sight effects. I still do not understand how some people go through their day to day functions with some of these eye diseases. It was hard for me to walk with just the simulation glasses on I can not imagine having to do something like feed myself or something that takes a lot of hand eye coordination if I really had this disease.

  15. wes hanspard says:

    Wes Hanspard
    Aging Communication

    Age Simulation
    The age simulation research was a crazy experience. We imitated some of the physical problems older people have, as they get older in age. Physical problems such as, bad eye sight, bad hearing, bad arthritic conditions, and walking problems.
    We were equipped with glasses/ goggles that show us how a lot of people see things. All the glasses/ goggles were very complicated and hard to see through. Some only provided sight in one eye. It showed me how I would be able to see if I had cataracts as well as many other eye problems.
    We were also given throwaway ear plugs so that we could experience what it would be like to lose your hearing. I couldn’t even imagine hearing that low but at the rate I’m going with the way I listen to music through my headphones ill probably end up hearing that way.
    We also put on gloves and taped two of our fingers together. Doing that gave us a simulated idea of what it would be like to have some kind of arthritic condition. It was hard to do simple things such as picking up a pen and writing, use your phone, or even something as simple as playing cards. It seemed as if everyone was having trouble just getting a good grip of the card to just pick it up.
    Last but not least we put popcorn in our shoes, it was difficult to walk but it was an irritating feeling to walk around with popcorn in your shoe. It felt pretty bad on the heel of my foot.
    The whole aging simulation for me was very interesting. I experienced some of the physical difficulties that elder has to deal with on a daily basis.

  16. Natalie Slinker says:

    In class, we conducted an aging simulation where the students were able to see the kinds of troubles that older people with health issues might experience doing simple tasks. To age the students they were issued ear plugs to simulate hearing loss, glasses with different sight conditions, popcorn kernels in their shoes for foot pain, and gloves and taped fingers to represent arthritis and losing the feeling of touch.

    The first task we were given was to fill pills for a week. It was difficult to open the pill bottles and since one of my hands had a glove and was taped, I could not reach into the pill bottles. I had to pour them into my hand and pick them up to put them in the tray.

    The next task was to look up a telephone number in the telephone book and type it into a cell phone. It was hard to see the number first of all, because of the glasses making vision difficult. It was also hard to open the telephone book with the glove and then enter it into the cell phone. I also could not hear very well wearing the ear plugs.

    Another task we were given was to pick out a birthday card for a significant other. Again, the glove with my fingers taped made it hard to open the cards. The glasses representing vision problems made it difficult to read the cards. At this point in the simulation, the popcorn kernels really started hurting my feet and I just wanted to sit down, and I was getting annoyed with not being able to hear very well.

    The aging simulation made me realize why some older people seem grumpy or grouchy. They are probably annoyed and upset because simple tasks are becoming more of a toll for them to do. I had never thought about this before, until the aging simulation.

  17. Mercedes Hudson says:

    Doing the age simulation in class definitely made me feel bad for elderly people. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with such difficulties that effect every moment of your life. Given, I do have arthritis in my ankle already.. so I feel their pain on that matter. The worst part of the age simulation would probably be all of the eye problems that we learned older people have to face. I couldn’t see out of the majority of the glasses. Saying i’m thankful for my sight would be an understatement.
    The corn in my shoes was unimaginable; just awful. I don’t know which would be worst.. having that feeling when walking or having poor eye sight.

  18. jeremiah williams says:

    there are all types of simulations you can do, in class we had ear plugs for symbolizing when you being to lose hearing, and we had popcorn in our shoes because when you get older it get harder to walk, and it hurts, we used these certain glasses that would block your the side view to your vision and something you could barley see through the whole. but i think when you get older things do get harder and you most likely will need help because the body being to wear and tear down causing you not to be as flexible as you once was in your younger days.

  19. Austin Hill says:

    Aging Simulation
    The simulation that we participated in during class really put my mind into an elderly perspective. Not only did i realize that there are very many senses that are dulled and subject to loss with age, but there are also simple, everyday abilities that can not be done, and some that cause pain. The most surprising simulation that i took away was the sense of touch. While wearing a glove that dulled the sensory nerves used to determine touch, we had to tape two fingers together to simulate arthritis and the effect it has on bending joints. A simple task of attempting to organize medicine into a container proved extremely difficult. Another simulation that i found interesting was the stick used to pick up items. Not being able to do normal functions that i can do now, such as picking up items by bending down, made me realize that elderly people struggle more than people think. It gave me a much more understanding perspective on what they go through, rather than the conventional frustration perspective i usually had while dealing with elderly people. Not only are the elderly unable to do normal functions at all, some of the functions that they can still do cause pain. This was simulated with the popcorn we put in our shoes. It showed me that as we become older normal functions can become very uncomfortable or even painful. Another important aspect of this simulation was the glasses that represented different types of vision problems that develop with age. Although i was aware that vision would gradually grow worse as age progressed, i was unaware there were so many different ways it would do so. I gained a very new perspective on the elderly through this simulation and honestly fear growing older.

  20. La'Shandra Frank says:

    at first i thought that this was going to be a fun assignment, which it was but it had me thinking throughout the assignment. trying on the different glasses and trying to pick up things as if we were old it was difficult. i know for me personally i can not see that well anyways, so when i had some of them glasses on it was harder for me. it almost makes me not want to be old because some of the things they have to go through is very hard. i do know that if i take actions now by taking care of my body so that when i am old it does not take a lot out of me. i do think by doing this activity was a fun one and i think everyone should do this activity. it could make a change in someone’s life and have them thinking about their future now.

  21. Marissa Roy says:

    I missed class the day of the simulation, but from watching the two videos I really appreciate being able to move, hear, and see easily. I can’t imagine having those things minimized, but that’s how it is for older people. Seeing people put these suits on to understand what older people go through is really something. It’s very considerate. Most younger people don’t have the patience to deal with the disabilities of elders. But, they need to understand that it comes with aging. The old people can’t help that these things are happening to them. Again, seeing these videos opened my eyes. I need to stop taking advantage of being able to do these things while others cannot. I am thankful to have moving joints, clear vision, and good hearing.

  22. Katye Jaggers says:

    I was so excited to see that we would be participating in a hands on activity in our communications class. Fun things were lined up all over the classroom and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of the things to play with them. However, the minute I put on the glaucoma glasses I instantly realized, “Man I’m glad this is just for fun…I wouldn’t be able to see anything if this were real life.” And I suddenly became sad thinking of all of the elders that have to go through these things daily.
    I’ll be honest and say that I think older people are inconvenient. They drive too slow, they think they have the right to say whatever whenever. But this activity made me realize that there are reasons for why they act the way they do. It’s important that people from my generation are patient with elders. This activity gave me plenty of insight as to what its like to age. And I have to say that I am not thrilled nor excited to start the process. I’ve realized that this process has already started; it started the day we were all born. Age is inevitable. So I will, from now on, be more understanding towards elders and try to help them in anyway that I can.

  23. Melanie Edmonds says:

    Watching the AGNES video I really liked towards the end where it said that they need to fully understand the needs of an aging population to design a future that is accessible for every age. That stood out to me because the population is getting older and things need to be designed for all ages so that everyone can get around easily and we have the technology to make that happen. I think the suits are a great idea because it allows people to see how its like for elderly people. I know this first hand by being a cashier, most of the population it doesn’t matter if they are 10 or 40 if an elderly person is in front of them in line and are taking a long time writing checks or getting there money out, ect. people get impatient and start huffing and wanting them to hurry up. I believe if everyone had the chance to wear the age stimulation suit our society would have more patience with the elderly and try to make things easier for them because for some of them it is hard to get around and do things. In class we had a little age stimulation session where we had corn in our shoes and ear plugs in. I hated the corn in my shoe and it was only in there for about twenty minutes so I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to actually feel that pain every time I had to walk somewhere. Also with the earplugs in it was difficult to hear and I feel like hearing loss is the butt of many jokes with elderly but it would be very difficult on a daily basis to not hear well. They rubber gloves with our fingers taped to represent arthritis was very uncomfortable and it made it hard to put the pills in the medicine container which for many elderly is an everyday task. At the end of this simulation I have a greater respect for elders and have more patience when I’m helping them around the store I work in and also even in public itself.

  24. Reco Lewis says:

    After the activities we did in class and watching the videos Age Simulation, this is hard. The class experience helped out even better then the videos, but the video was good information as well. It started when we walked inside the classroom, paper thrown all over the floor, cotton balls, ear plugs, a picker or grabber, wallets, books, and glasses. Every pair of glasses had some kind of problem written on the side of them. Going through the process of not being able to bend made the situation a little harder. Putting myself in their shoes with this activity was hard, and it made me realize that old people really matter, and that they continue to fight everyday. The glasses I had was glaucoma, and I could barely see, it was blurry to me. Then I began to walk around the class and pick up paper with the grabber stick, and that was hard. With this activity, it showed how older people move, and how they feel. The ear plugs and the cotton balls made it difficult because I could barely hear, and that is how it is in the world when older people are out, its tough. Just like the videos, the cashier, its tough, and you have to have patience. The age simulation makes me appreciate life, at the age I am at now I take everyday and make it a positive. The class activity made me think a lot about me whenever I get old, what if I have glaucoma, or I go blind, or my knees give out? What if? This was a big help, and the class activity was perfect and helpful.

  25. KGD says:

    Kara Davis
    Communication and Aging
    Dr. Greg Phelps
    8 October 2015

    Reflection on Age Simulation

    After doing the exercise in class and watching the “You-Tube” videos, I am more aware of what elders go through on a daily basis. Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I see an elderly person with a disability and I say to myself that I do not want to be like that person when I get older. But, I know that in reality, I may be just like that person one day.

    The activity we did in class was very thought provoking. I did not like the popcorn kernels in my shoes. I could not hear well because of the ear plugs in my ears. I already have hearing loss and I know it is only going to get worse as I age. The glasses that simulated different eye conditions that elders experience made it difficult to see clearly. The glove that I put on my dominant hand made everything that I touched feel weird. Although I really did like the grabber to pick up things up off the floor, I was very thankful at the end of class to return to normal.

    Isolated, embarrassing, tired, incapable, and debilitating were words used in the “You-Tube” videos to describe how it felt to be elderly. All of those words sound depressing and sad. Together, participating in the class activity and watching the videos did give me a sense of the difficulty elders experience on a daily basis. Aging is a process we are all going to experience and none of us can stop.

    This age simulation assignment has made me really think about what it is like to be elderly. I now have an understanding of the physical limitations of the elderly. I think I will now have greater patience and more compassion for elderly people.

  26. williamson8 says:

    The age simulation video was good to watch and makes us realize how fortunate we are to be young and have full mobility to carry out our every day tasks that we desire. These suits are designed to simulate the effects of what it’s like in the body of a elderly person with more fatigue feelings, stiff joints and movement. Watching the video makes me realize how lucky I am and should be grateful for what I have. The elderly struggle every day trying to do tasks e.g walking, lifting objects, and going up and I down stairs. It’s important for us to emphasize what it’s like to be in their shoes.

  27. Felix Casa del Valle says:

    When I did the age simulation in class, I noticed how frustrating it was to have any amount of the senses being taken away. It is not fun. What caught my attention the most were the different styles of vision that each pair of simulation glasses introduced once put on. Having no peripheral view is scary because you could easily be kidnapped, followed, or something could be coming your way and you not notice it visually in time to react. While the hearing loss wasn’t too bad in class, I could only imagine how unsettling it could be out in the real world with all the external noises and trying to focus on one specific thing or person. Not being able to bend over was also a top annoyance because once something fell, if no one were around to help and I didn’t own a grabber to get the fallen object, I basically would have to leave it there. Talk about frustrating, especially if it were to be my glasses, wallet, or even house keys. This age simulation is genius. It gives perspective, provides understanding, and it can be easily recreated to test what any given environment gives or takes away from the elderly. Having knowledge of this simplistic activity for gauging what life as an elder may be like, I’m motivated to research if there is a way to simulate people with Alzheimer’s, in order to get a better scope of what my grandma may be dealing with on a daily basis.

  28. Makenzie Montano says:

    After experiencing the Age Stimulation in class, I have developed a much greater sympathy for elders. I think that we take advantage of how well we can move around and function at a young age because we think that we are invincible. It troubles me that our society is so youth-focused that we do not realize elders can not access their needs properly. When getting my candy bar from the vending machine, it was hard for me to bend over and grab it because of my “back problem” and I had to come up with a better way to retrieve the candy I had just bought. After watching these two videos, it is clear that the more people that are exposed to age simulation the more awareness is being raised. These two technology suits really benefit in helping the rest of us see the daily struggle that some elders have to face. My hope is that in the future we begin to direct our society to a more equally focused state emphasizing age.

  29. Aleksi Pahkasalo says:

    In our Communication and Aging class we also had an exercise in which we had glasses, ear plugs, used handling sticks and other distractions to make it feel as if we are older. Of course these methods were not as effective and real as the aging suit that is featured in the video. It is an excellent idea that shows how the suit resists bending down, reaching up, seeing and hearing properly etc. These are qualities that we need to remember to be grateful for, as we often times take these abilities for granted. These suits are reminders to us to be happy that we can reach down and pick up a coin, see things far away, hear the smallest of noises and go through our daily lives without having to worry of our bodies limiting us. Aging is a scary concept, and the physical difficulties are things that you don’t even think about when you are young. Unfortunately they are a reality, and hopefully as technology advances, there will be more and more assistance tools that help us cope with the future physical disadvantages that we will encounter as we age.

  30. Yuta Nomura says:

    Age simulation
    Yuta Nomura

    I was kind of looking forward to watch this video, however, as I kept watching this video I came to realize that how hard for old people to live through our society now with their abilities. There are so many challenges older people have to face in our society now. I cannot imagine how I get through a lot of difficulties with abilities that I have when I get older. Just because I did age simulation in the class and figured out you tend to have bad sight when you get older and I was barely able to see what is on the ground and where table is. Since I have done this activity and know how older people feel, I will try to look after them more often and I will try to do something that I can do for now. Such as not listening music with loud and take care of your body. I am pretty sure that these things will for sure help us when we get older.
    I am so thankful to have great vision, hearing, and not having disabilities yet.

  31. Chico Adams says:

    Chico Adams
    COMM 3703

    After watching these videos and doing the activities in class I now understand the difficulties of everyday life for the elderly. Things as simple as putting in there PIN, bending over, and even walking take a toll on them and come to be quite a task within itself. What really “wowed” me was getting a chance to wear the different types of eyewear that simulated the seeing issues that come with old age. I got the chance to see what it’s like to not be able to see, and if I was able to see even a little I had to maneuver my head in a position to be able to see, something that people that suffer from those visual impairments aren’t able to do. These two videos and the in-class activities really have shed a light on the fact that we should take actions in aiding the elderly in there day-to-day lives, so that the things they need to get done on a day-to-day basis aren’t taking as big of a toll on them physically.

  32. morgantuesday says:

    I was very surprised by my experience in our simulation in class. I felt as though I knew how elderly people felt through their trials while being older all because I have worked in a nursing home. But to my surprise I realized that if there was a way, I’d never be old. I cannot wrap my head around all of the things that are taken away that you can no longer do when you get so old. I also thought about how elderly people are when it comes to their independence and after this simulation I can completely understand why they become so hateful when some of their freedom is taken away. I have never in my life felt degraded by using a cane or anything but now that I have put myself in their shoes I can see where this would really hurt their self esteem because they can no longer do things they’ve always done. This simulation also makes me realize that I need to take better care of myself now in order to prepare for when I am elderly.

  33. James Berry says:

    After doing these simulations in class and watching these you-tube videos , it makes me realize how hard it is for elder people that have to go through these task on a day to day basic. It shows how many challenges that the elder people have to go through and when we see them in a store or something we just want to go around them and get out of the way because they are going to slow but in reality they can not help these issues that they have and we need to try and understand that we should try to help them and also be more patient with them. This simulation really makes me thankful to have good health and haven’t had to go through these issues that some elder people are going through but my time will come and i will be in there same shoes they are in right now. This simulation has changed the way i think about doing things that could hurt my hearing or my eye sight and trying to change some of my ways.

  34. Chanea Smith says:

    I believe as young adults we often become desensitized and impatient with elderly people because from our point of view we believe that everyone should move at our pace and accomplish tasks the exact same ways that we do. There is nothing wrong with having that viewpoint, but it’s so important for us to take a step back and see things from their perspectives. These simulations do just that by enabling us to realize the various problems that most elderly people have to deal with and struggle with on a daily basis. One thing that I have learned over the years about the elderly is that in their minds they are still in their 20’s just the same as we are, but their bodies simply are no longer capable of doing certain things. Imagine our minds being capable of processing thoughts and ideas, fully capable of running and traveling, experiencing life–but physically being incapable of doing those things. It is depressing but it’s also a reality that many of us will face one day. I think these simulations should always be presented to students in order for them to gain a stronger insight of what it is truly like to live an elderly lifestyle.

  35. Yuta Nomura says:

    After watching this film and doing this activity in class, I was shocked how hard it id for elder people to live and do things by themselves. When I put the special glasses on, I barely saw anything and I cannot think that some elder people have to deal with problem every single day. This activity have changed the way I think about the elder people. And also, how thankful I am to do things that I want to do. Some people cannot do the thing that they want to do.

  36. Steve Wallace says:

    It was very interesting to go through different age simulation tactics in class. It was eye opening to see how different and hard some things could be. For example, the glasses had different eye diseases or disorders some elderly people may have to endure. I had a pair that had a disorder where if I looked down it was blocked and it looked as if it were just black. I had popcorn kernels underneath of my feet making it hard to walk as well. Also with gloves on it was really hard to type in phone numbers on the cell phone The hardest part though was trying to arrange the pills in the medicine boxes, and pick stuff up off the ground with a grabber. One never thinks about the different loses that goes on with aging. I think these age simulation suits and the activities we did really make you realize some of the things the elderly have to go through and makes you have more sympathy for them. It can make you realize why it is so hard to walk sometimes. By realizing this, I think it would help a lot of younger generations have more patience when dealing with the elderly and think twice before getting angry at certain things they do. It is difficult to really see through their eyes until you step into their shoes and go through what they do. These suits are a really cool idea that those with the money should invest in so that younger generations can see how hard everyday life is for the elderly.

  37. Tori Caudil says:

    The age simulation exercise really helped me to understand better what it is like to have a disability caused by old age. I have heard my mom say for years that my oma hates flying from Germany because sitting in the plane and all of the work going through customs is hard on her Arthritis. I knew that it was uncomfortable for her, but didn’t realize that it could cause so many problems, nor what other things she may experience along with that. I would love to try on one of those aging suits to better understand what she goes through, but even from just seeing the video and participating in class, I know that it would be very uncomfortable and not at all fun.
    I think participating in an activity like this can really help people of my generation understand their elders, whether it be grandparents, neighbors, or just people they encounter on the street. This experience also gave me a reverence for the people dealing with these disabilities, because not many people are aware of the extent of the these issues. I think that it would be beneficial for communities to adopt programs not only to help people with these disabilities, but also programs to help educate the public on what is happening. Not only would this help to improve intergenerational communication, it gives young people a better sense of what the future will be like for them, which in turn hopefully would incentivize the need to help the elderly struggling now.

  38. Crystal Hodges says:

    By participating the multiple aging simulations in class, I gained a better understanding of what it feels like to do “simple” day-to-day tasks as an older person. The most interesting part to me was wearing the gloves with my knuckles and joints taped making it difficult to bend and use my fingers. When buttoning the shirt, I kept thinking how difficult it was for me to complete the task. I then realized that arthritis is almost always painful as well as impairing. I couldn’t imagine trying to do normal things and it being painful each time. Watching the videos about the age suits was also very eye-opening. The participant in one of the videos made a comment, “At the end of the day I can take this suit off, but older people can’t take it off. They live with it everyday.” While we can see that older people have trouble accomplishing day-to-day tasks, we tend to dismiss it and not consider that we will be dealing with those struggles in the future as well. It is important for everyone to understand the difficulties that older people have and make accommodations for them.

  39. Jordan Steakin says:

    After participating in the activity, I realized that there are so many different aspects in life that are going to be affected by age. I only had the arthritis simulator, and I used the vision impairment glasses for the map. It really made me nervous to think that one day I am going to experience these struggles daily, without being able to stop the simulation or take the glove off. This class is morphing my opinion on age. At first, I never wanted to experience old age, and the little things we tried to simulate really made me feel a little more comfortable with the idea of getting older. I wish I could of tried the popcorn in my shoes, just to experience the pain behind age. Also, the videos for older people were usually made as a comic relief in advertisement. Age should be something respected and not made fun of.

  40. Garrett Bryant says:

    The simulation really opened my eyes to the different difficulties that arise for people who are older. There are a lot of day to day tasks that we take for granted every day while we are younger and still in good health. These examples simulations show how simple tasks can be more difficult for older generations. The hardest parts of the simulation was reading menu’s, maps, or medicine labels with eye impairments. It would make other tasks such as driving almost impossible. This simulation also proves that society is not structured for benefiting the older generations and is built for younger bodies.

  41. Sydney Fourman says:

    after doing the exercises in class and after watching the videos above, it was an eye opening experience. Our generation takes for granted being about to pick things up without feeling any type of pain or discomfort. We take for granted being able to walk and feel the ground beneath our feet. For some older people that is not the case. Every day is a constant struggle for stay 100% balanced while walking or to simply fold a shirt. With the use of these suits and by doing different age simulation like we did in class, I believe that younger generation will learn to have more patience with the elderly generations because we now have a small taste of what it is like to live with these struggles. After doing the exercises in class, we were able to take the gloves off, take the cotton balls out of our ears, take the popcorn kernels out of our shoes and take the tap of our fingers. Elder people do not get that luxury; they have to live with the struggle and the pain 24/7 and that is why i believe we should have more sympathy for the elder.

  42. Katie Stone says:

    This activity was very fun. Some of the activities were very hard to do, such as reading with the impaired glasses, picking trash up with the grabber using my opposite hand, and wearing gloves with tape over my fingers, the use of my fingers. I already have bad vision so using the glasses while trying to read in the phone book made it even worse. Using the grabber with the gloves and tape on was probably the hardest activity that I done. I am right handed and I do almost everything with my right hand. While I was using the grabber with my left hand to pick the random items up off the ground, it was almost like I couldn’t get it to process through my brain how to make my left-hand work.
    This activity made me think about my future and wonder “what if I was to get arthritis in my right hand, and not be able to use it anymore.” Then I would be stuck using my left hand. I pop my fingers a countless number of times a day. Usually this is because I am so nervous. For years when my mother catches me popping them she always tells me, to not to or else I will regret it one day due to having arthritis in my fingers. Thanks to this activity, I have started listening to my mother and tried to pop them less because I would not want to get arthritis and not be able to use my right hand.

  43. The age simulation we participated in in class was very eye opening to me. I have always sympathized with older people and believed I could understand what they were going through and how they felt but I could never really empathize with them until this activity. In this activity we were given popcorn kernels to put in our shoes to simulate the pain that walking and standing for long periods of time does to elderly peoples feet. We were also given glasses that simulated vision problems and eye diseases such as cataracts. There were many different glasses to put on some that blurred the vision, some that blocked out certain parts of the vision. While wearing these glasses we were told to complete tasks like picking out a birthday card, playing cards, dialing a phone, and arranging pills into daily pill boxes. We also had on a glove that simulated the loss of grip in our hands and made it harder to hold onto things. The tasks that seemed so simple were made extremely difficult when utilizing the popcorn, gloves, and glasses. It truly helped us all to realize the struggles that elders go through on a daily basis. Another one of our activities was using a grabber to pick up things off of the floor rather than bending down to get them. I did not have a very hard time with this because they are designed to help the elderly and it was very easy to use. My great grandmother used a grabber for a long time in her home before she had to go to the nursing home to get things in cabinets she couldn’t reach as well as things out of the floor that she dropped. Her grabber was green and she called it Kermit like Kermit the frog and said that it was her best friend since it was always there when she needed it.

  44. Rayce Thornbury says:

    The age simulator we did in class was a reality check for me. I sometimes complain about me “getting old” because of the wear and tear football has taken on me throughout the years. But this project showed me how difficult it sometimes can be when you get older and do not have the same mobility as you once did. One thing that I found very difficult to cope with in this activity was impaired vision. I take pride in my eyesight because it is literally perfect. Not being able to see clearly and even having tunnel vision was a struggle for me. I felt so bad for taking for granite of my eye-sight. i never really realized the kind of struggle some older people go through. One in particular is my grandfather. His eyesight is deteriorating as he gets older. He is 82 now and every once in a while he has to get injections in his eyes so he doesn’t go blind. it is sad because he used to be a very healthy athletic guy but over the years his body and vision has gone down. I take advantage of somethings he is not as good at anymore. Another one being balance. I am able to maintain balance well but sometimes I see my grandfather struggling to walk in a straight line. I get frustrated with him but I have to stop myself because I know he is not as capable as he once was. However, he is also stubborn and wears shoes that throws his balance off.

    This activity made me wonder how I will be health and mobility wise when I am older. I now know what to possibly expect because like my grandfather, he played college football and that affects him to this day. I may have continuous problems throughout my life that will affect me when I get older. This activity opened my eyes and has prepared me for possible future conflicts that I may have with myself when it comes to the basics of touch, balance, vision, and hearing.

  45. Shelby Austin says:

    We were not able to afford age stimulation suits but we were able to interpret different age stimulation experiences in class. A couple of things that we had to do was fill our shoes with popcorn kernels, tape our fingers at the knuckle, put cotton swabs in our ears, and wear glasses that affected our vision. All of these materials represents a different obstacle that elder may have to go through. After we put all of the stuff on we had to do a few different activities. A couple examples of what we had to do was shuffle a deck of cards, send a text message, button a shirt, use a grabber to pick up a medicine bottle, and go through birthday cards. We were also advised to use our weaker hand. After doing these events it really opened my eyes on what someone with these difficulties have to go through on a daily basis. If everyone was able to go through this process then I believe that there would not be as much stereotyping on the older generations. People would see what they have to go through and be more patient during social gatherings. One story that sticks with me in the Q-tip story. If that man would have understood what she has to go through then he would have been a little more patient. I believe that we should all take a stand with the Q-tips that we got in class and show that we are in support. One day we are going to be in their shoes and feel what they feel.

  46. Mary Bunton says:

    While contributing in the age stimulation in class, it helped to realize what elders can go through. I never really truly realized that is something that many elders are going through. This activity has really opened my eyes to not get impatient or try to rush elderly people. When I tired on the glasses only being able to see out of a very small part of glasses made my head hurt and a little territorial. When people wold walk around me and not being able to see them until they get to a certain spot in my view, it made me feel like I was constantly in someones way. Even when I had to read at a different angle it took a lot longer because it was harder to see. With everything that we did in class the gloves were a real eye opener, not truly able to grip anything to open, made it a little frustrating and scary to realize this is something could happen to me one day when I get older. Out of everything with this activity I learned to cherish the little things that we can do now because we may not be able to when we get older.

  47. Tori Caudil says:

    During the age simulation in class, I put cotton balls in my ears in order to induce the feeling of having hearing loss due to old age. I also taped my joints in my hand, making it harder for my fingers to bend. This was used to mimic the feeling of arthritis, though it didn’t include the pain that comes with it. Other members of class put popcorn kernels in their shoes to explain the daily pain in walking many elders experience.
    Along with these exercises, we also participated in things that effect the day to day life in an average elder. One example was the pill sorting. Personally, I had taped all of my finger joints and had a very hard time sorting the pills into the right pill cases and an even harder time opening the bottles.
    The second exercise I tried was the map example. I put on vision impairing glasses and had to try to find a certain place to plan a road trip. As someone who already has bad vision, this example was very real to me, because I know that I will undoubtedly have to have some sort of vision correction other than my contacts.
    Due to the time that it took me to sort the pills, I was not able to personally try the other exercises during class. However, with the information provided by the video we watched and the age simulation suits, I am curious to be able to try the suit or see one used in real life. I think that it would be a good experiment for people all over the United States to help and raise awareness and empathy for the older generation. I think that it will be very beneficial to provide access to these suits in nursing homes as part of the training for elder empathy. I think that even if the suits are too expensive any job, or public program involving Elders should have some sort of an exercise similar to what we did in class. I think this would give a much better understanding of what Elders are going through, while also preparing those going through the activity for the reality of what their life may be like when they age.

  48. Natalie Miller says:

    At the beginning of class we watched a video that showed how students were wearing certain suits that made them feel older and not as mobile as they were in their younger years. Then, after we watched the video, we put ourselves in different situations that made ourselves feel older. For myself, I put cotton balls in my ears to decrease my ability to hear, glasses that impaired my vision, and a glove on my left hand that made me focus on using my left hand, which is my non-dominant hand. With my non-dominant hand, I had to do daily activities such as splitting pills in a pill container, flipping through a telephone book, and texting a friend. These tasks definitely took longer than normal, and I found myself becoming aggravated by how much time the tasks were taking. The cotton balls did not have a huge impact, but my hearing was definitely not as great as it is without the cotton balls. The glasses had ad huge impact because they made objects look fuzzy and farther away than they actually were. By putting myself in these situations, I had the ability to feel weaker, have weaker vision, and weaker hearing, which are all descriptions of what older people have. These simulation definitely helped me see what Elder individuals go through on a daily basis, and the simulations helped me have empathy for Elder individuals.

  49. Cody Janes says:

    I really enjoyed the Age Simulation we did in class because of the different perspective it showed us all. It really gave me a better understanding of what older people have to deal with everyday on a physical level. Many of the activities were very challenging. The insight gained from this lead me to realize just how much old age can take out on your body. Your body truly gets worn down over the years. I think that activities such as these should be implemented in high schools across the country. It would help show the students that old age isn’t something that should be taken lightly because of the increased difficulties that one will face. The students will gain a better understand of just what their parents and grandparents may be going through.

  50. Karli Huckaby says:

    This simulation opened my eyes to the difficulties that elders face. Due to health issues, some can hardly dot hings that they used to. We put cotton balls in our ears so we could limit our hearing. We put duct tape on our hands so we could feel the stiffness that elders may face. I had trouble trying to pick things up and trying to move them. I also had trouble hearing as well with the cotton in my ears. This helped me to realize just how incapable some elders can be doing normal tasks.

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  52. Rachel Wethington says:

    While I have always empathized with elders for their physical incapability’s, I have never been able to understand what it was truly like. The in class age simulation gave me just a little insight to how frustrating it must be for elders who experience these limitations. With the cotton balls, I was not able to hear very well, my feet hurt from the popcorn kernels, my vision was impaired and I experienced less movement in my fingers. Each of these changes were quite frustrating. It opened my eyes to how difficult it must be for elders to navigate and function in our society that offers little modifications for their needs.

  53. Madison Renay Molitor says:

    Seeing this video, I can honestly say, I would have the hardest time wearing that suit all day. I am a very get things done on to the next kind of person. I grow impatient easily just because my days are filled with class and volleyball practice, games, film, and not to mention studying and homework. Like the man said in one of the videos at the end of the day he can take the suit off, but people with these disabilities cannot. When I start to get older and receive some of these ageing characteristics, I will have to learn to slow down and respect my age. I am always aware of elders walking around and if they need help, at least I try my best. My greatest concern is when I myself get older and will not be able to move around fast like I used to.

  54. lauren booher says:

    After completing the age simulation in class, it is definitely a little easier to understand just how frustrating it may be for elders that have a setback of any capacity to go out and do everyday tasks. The aspect of the simulation that was the most interesting to me were the glasses. Seeing the different eye conditions that elders could be living with was astounding. I have no idea how elders with some of those eye conditions could get anything done. This also helped me understand why elders would want to stay home and not go out and participate in certain activities. Seeing the video of the real simulation suit was eye opening as well. Seeing the man go buy a cup of coffee so easily to then with the suit on having some struggles and not even knowing if he was given the correct change for his order. He had some trouble walking around and going down the stairs as well. Seeing how the aging process effects our older generation was very interesting for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  55. The aging simulation that we did in class was very interesting because it helps us to understand the health issues that elders deal everyday. We used corn to put in our shoes to created the feeling of our feet constantly hurting and also we were glasses some of them with different shapes which give us different vision. I had no idea it was that bad, now i know how difficult is for an elder person to be standing in their feet all day long or to deal with vision problems. After my experience with the aging simulation, I think that we have to do a better job supporting and helping the elders in a daily basis.

  56. Devin Stapleton says:

    The age simulation was definitely an eye opener to how frustrating simple things can be for elderly individuals. I’ve always been pretty aware of how disadvantaged elders are, specifically out in public, but this opened my eyes to the everyday struggle they face. This definitely gave me a different frame of reference for work. I tend to get frustrated with elder individuals quite easily, because I have a lot to do. However, I’ve always been pretty understanding, but there’s a difference between understanding and actually knowing from experience. The glasses completely threw me off, and I couldn’t imagine living every day like that. Of all my senses, I cherish my eyesight the most. Overall, It definitely made it easier for me to understand why some elderly people stay at home, and chose not to participate in society. It’s actually pretty depressing to think about. I think there needs to be more awareness about aging, especially in the medical field, specifically elderly homes.

  57. Branson Patterson says:

    Once we completed the age simulation in class, there was a deeper understanding of the difficuties of aging for all of us that participated I believe. Seeing through the glasses, if you could see at all, was difficult and there were many different problems that caused impairment. I knew that aging came with decreasing physical abilites but I did not know the extent of the issues that came with it. From the eye sight to the ability to bend over and pick something up, I had little understanding of their difficulty. Going to the grocery store or a football game is so easy in my eyes but the older i get that can all change. There are many simple things we take for granted that we should clearly see as a blessing.

  58. Daniel Leonard says:

    During this exercise in class, I found it very appropriate for this class because it gives you a much better perspective on what it is like to be an elder with some of the physical changes that occur naturally with aging. Putting things in your shoes to simulate hurt feet was eye opening for me. It can be hard for elders to not even walk but to just stand. This just opened my eyes to being more caring and understanding for people that are going through difficult times when aging. Putting cotton balls in your ears to simulate bad hearing was a struggle for me. Not being able to hear everything is something I cant imagine to be honest. Fortunately I got to take them out during class but other elders don’t get that privilege of removed there attributes that are slowing them down on a day to day basis. Same goes for having bad eye sight. Overall this activity allowed me to be more understanding about aging and the process that comes with it as well as me being thankful for my age and not having to battle these experiences yet in life.

  59. Richard Winfield says:

    The age simulation that we participated in class was very interesting and eye-opening. The reason for this is because I never felt exactly how elders fell on a daily constant. We put uncooked corn in our shoes to simulate what elders felt in their feet. We wore glasses that resembled different sights that elders deal with. Cotton balls in our ears so it simulated how elders hear. The other thing we did was try to type with two of our fingers taped together to simulate arthritis. Elders go through a lot day in and day out. It makes you appreciate your life that you are living now.

  60. Jacob Smith says:

    This assignment really allowed me to understand how it is like to be an elder. I was able to experience this through cotton balls in the ear, glasses to effect eye sight, and even popcorn in our shoes to show how there feet feel at old age. I used to get really frustrated with older people and them driving or walking slow. I soon realized this is because there senses have weekend and is actually extremely challenging for them to handle. While I do not think this is an excuse for them to drive safely, it has allowed me to be mindful and cautious of elderly people.

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