Friday, December 13, 2013

Costume makes you old man

It seems the equipment of an astronaut to survive in space. But this grey, heavy, with orange stained glass is the best way to know what is to be 75 years old.

The idea was born of Rachel Eckardt, Enterprise Center Evangelical of Geriatrics of Berlin (EGZB, by its acronym in German), who thought that the best way for Gerontology students could understand his patients ailments themselves to live them.
"I believe that something better to spend hours in front of the power point was to find a tool allowing students to better understand what is to be a person of 75 years of age", said Eckardt to BBC world.
The suit, which weighs 10 kilos, consists of a helmet and a jacket and trousers, which does not allow the full mobility of the arms and legs. Neither the muscle sensitivity and not think of trying to grab a coin from the ground. It is almost impossible.
"The only thing we can not simulate are the pains that some people suffer from osteoporosis and arthritis. "But we do them note to students so that they understand even more the situation", said Eckardt.
Hands and eyes half
Although attempted at some clinics in the United Kingdom a few years ago to reduce the mobility of some health care providers so that they understand how older people lived, it is the first time that develops a costume for educational purposes.
In addition to the body, the costume comes with other devices. The first are gloves that prevent mobility of the hands and fingers.
The other is a helmet with an orange visor, which reduces the auditory and visual capacity. To be with that since, scored Eckardt, the person barely can target without fear of falling.
"When hearing is reduced not only reduces the ability to listen, but also the balance of the person. With orange visor, the person not only looks fuzzy, but it also can identify colors or textures,"he explained.
A name, many difficulties
The draft Age Men, which began in 2012, try, that they feel the difficulties of age, also understand that Geriatrics is not a single disease.
"The majority of elderly people suffer from many things, not of a single. That costume is not limited to the movement or vision. It is comprehensive in that sense,"he explained.
For some students that costume have been tested, what is clear is that it allows to have another opinion about care that should pay the gerontology specialist.
"It makes us think that we have to talk tougher and clearer. And things that are easy to get up from the bed for us, for other people is not so simple,"explained to BBC World Elizabeth Steinhagen, one of the students of the EGZB program.
More older adults
One of the reasons that led to the development of this costume is the increase in the older population in the coming years. For example, in countries such as Germany and Japan expected that by the year 2030 the population over 60 is 26%.
In the countries of Latin America index is also on the rise. According to the National Institute of statistic in the Peru, in 2020, 11% of the population of this country is over 60. And in Colombia, it is expected that the number of older adults reach six billion.
"We need people that will be in charge of people older have empathy with them." "Many people think that it is easy to understand what happens, but every day I am aware that is not the case", concluded Steinhagen.

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