What Does It Feel Like To Be 75? Say Goodbye To Spry

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While reporting my recent series on Aging At Home, I came across a special suit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. It's meant to help 20-something engineers feel the aches and limitations of an average 75-year-old so they can design better products for them. Think of it as working like those outfits Superheroes put on, only backward. Of course, I couldn't resist.

Now, I'm 40-something — no spring chicken. But if the crosswalk light is blinking, I can still dash across the street, no problem. Until, that is, MIT researcher Rozanne Puleo starts strapping me into what she calls her Age Gain Now Empathy System.

I pull a harness around my waist and Puleo starts attaching things to it. First, stretchy rubber bands connect from my waist to the bottom of my feet.

"It will limit your hip flexion," Puleo explains.

Read or listen to it all and make sure to look at the enlarged version of the picture.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyScience & Technology

3 Comments
Posted August 30, 2010 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I caught this story by podcast on the morning run.  Those of you in parish ministry especially, I hope you hear the incarnation and its implications screaming at you in this piece. Think: As the father has sent me, so I send you.

As we head into the fall, think reader based writing, worker based company leadership, student based teaching, and on and on.

I love the detail that when she goes to the grocery store she can’t reach the food she would want!

August 30, 7:25 am | [comment link]
2. Frances S Scott wrote:

Well, I was spry up until about 18 month ago.  I’ll be 74 in a couple of weeks and I am facing hip replacement surgery 21 October…and yes, grocery shopping is a challenge!  I used to joke about my aging body, but suddenly it is no longer a joke and I’ve cried a bucketfull.  This will be my first surgery ever and I am trying really hard to suppress my fear by reawakening my natural curiosity and eagerness for every new experience.  Prayers, please.
Frances Scott

August 30, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#2 Prayers for you Frances S Scott, with thanks to God for the wonderful gift of skilled surgeons and for healing and the gift of renewed and pain-free mobility, in Jesus’ name.

August 30, 7:24 pm | [comment link]
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