If you’ve had a rough day or your joints are creaking a little, you might describe yourself as feeling old. But now a special suit designed by German scientists allows you to literally have that experience.
The “Age Man Suit” (also known as the Age Explorer) is a specially designed combination of boiler suit and helmet. It weight 10kg to simulate the effects of bones and joints finding it harder to carry around the user’s bodyweight.
Other measures in the suit include a vest designed to make the chest and breathing feel less comfortable, extra padding on the knees and elbows to make it harder to move the joints, and gloves that mirror a loss of grip and control.
The helmet includes a variation on ear protectors, designed to simulate hearing impairment, and a yellow visor. This not only blurs vision, but makes it more difficult to distinguish between colors.
The suit is the work of the Evangelical Geriatrics Center, a complex that combines medical and care facilities for elderly people with an education and training academy for staff in the geriatrics field and a specialist research center.
Senior physician Rahel Eckardt told The Guardian that the idea of the suit was to help existing doctors have more empathy with elderly patients. The center also hopes that experiencing some of the physical effects of being elderly may help persuade medical students that specializing in geriatric medicine is worthwhile despite its lack of glamor.
The suit has also been made available to domestic appliance manufacturers so that they can test how easy it is to use their devices even when suffering physical deterioration.
(Image credit: Blum)