Developed by Berlin’s Evangelical Geriatrics Centre (EGZB), a specialized suit called the “Age Man Suit” lets people experience almost exactly what it physically feels like to be old. The 10-kilogram suit uses ear protectors to inhibit proper hearing, a yellow visor to blur vision, parts covering the elbows and knees to stiffen the joints and a large vest to limit overall movement.
“Rather than a PowerPoint presentation, this is the best way of giving them a real idea of what it’s like to be old. 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,” said Rahel Eckardt, senior physician at EGZB. Hopes are that the suit can be used to help people and doctors better identify and cater to the social and medical needs of the elderly.
Physicians spend quite a bit of time looking at ways to improve the lives of the elderly, and as the average human lifespan increases, it could be quite beneficial to put themselves in the shoes (or suit) of an older person. The Age Man suit was built so that the wearer instantly feels like they have the body of a person who’s about 75 years old.