In Germany, the fastest growing population is older adults over 85. A suit called the “Age Man Suit” is used to show college students at Berlin’s Evangelical Geriatric Center how it feels to be an older adult. When worn, the suit “mimics the feeling of being roughly 75 years old” and allows students the opportunity to feel empathy for their patients.
Students are able to understand how difficult it can be to pick coins up off the floor or walk up and down steps. A helmet is worn with the suit, which impairs hearing. A visor is worn to replicate the effects of cataracts, and thick gloves are worn to give diminished dexterity. One student who wore the suit reported feeling depressed. Others students reported feelings of frustration, helplessness, and indignity. Students felt relief when allowed to remove the suit.
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