If you feel like the elderly don't have it rough, maybe you should fly over to Germany and give the Age Man suit a try. Developed by Rachel Eckardt a senior physician at the Evangelical Geriatrics Center was designed to let young researchers experience what's like to have the body of a 75-year-old. The thought being that if you can properly experience the physical hardships of the elderly then you could better devise ways for them to overcome those limitations.
The suit weights 22 pounds and includes a yellowed visor to blur vision and make it difficult to distinguish between colors, ear flaps to block hearing, knee and elbow pads to simulate stiff joints, padded gloves to recreate arthritis, and a heavy Kevlar jacket that suppresses breathing.
Eckardt hopes the Age Man suit will inspire greater empathy from physicians and doctors when dealing with the elderly.
"Rather than a PowerPoint presentation, this is the best way of giving them a real idea of what it's like to be old – that is, 75 and upwards – and only once we have their empathy can we really begin to win students round to becoming interested in old people as patients," she said told The Guardian. "Maybe then they will consider a career in geriatrics, which until now has fought for recognition alongside other fields of medicine that are considered to be more exciting."
[The Guardian via DVICE]