It’s not news that North America’s population is aging. But when millions more Canadians and Americans will be 65 years and older in the coming years, billions more dollars will go to healthcare for this burgeoning demographic, and it becomes important for everyone else to understand seniors better.
That’s where the Center for Optimal Aging comes in. As reported recently on ABCNews.com, the San Pedro, California-based organization, based in local Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, wants to help younger people know what the difficult parts of aging feel like so they can have greater empathy for seniors.
To do this, they built body suits for people to wear which simulate slow moving, slumped postures, and hurting elbows.
“How often have you been in a grocery store and had an elderly person in front of you fumbling in a coin purse and you're looking at your watch and you're impatient because you've gotta be somewhere,” Anne Lemaire told the news source.
In other words, when someone sees an older person moving slowly, before becoming impatient they need to understand how that person’s body is working, and why they are moving slowly.
With millions of new residents in assisted living communities in the coming decades, it’s important that everyone in North America learns to empathize with their older neighbors.