Age Simulation Theory and Methods, Senior Suit Alpha

Instructions of use for the SD&C Senior Suit ® Alpha

The SD&C Senior Suit allows sensitization for the effects of ageing. The simulation restricts itself to the normal biological ageing process, while geriatric diseases are excluded purposefully. The simulation includes the main effects of normal ageing, as there are: less force, less movability, and deteriorated sensory detection concerning vision, hearing, and the tactile sense.

The SD&C Senior Suit includes the following parts:

  • 1 simulation goggle
  • 1 set of ear muffs
  • 1 neck brace
  • 1 jump suit
  • 1 special simulation vest with nine weights
  • 2 wrist weights
  • 2 ankle weights
  • 2 elbow bandages
  • 2 knee bandages
  • 1 pair of white gloves
  • 1 pair of wrist protectors
  • 1 instructions
  • 1 trolley carrying case

Dress up procedure

Selection of test persons. The simulation will add about 30 to 40 years of age onto the present age of a person, depending on the individual fitness. Not everybody is suitable to try this. The age of the test person should be between 15 and 60 years. Elder persons may try the simulation suit only, if they are sufficiently fit. Persons with deteriorated health, weak and pregnant persons should not try the simulation. The simulation should also not be applied to children, if their musculoskeletal system is not fully grown yet. The smaller ones normally are happily satisfied if they get the ear muffs on and are allowed to take a look through the goggles. Over the age span between 15 and 25 years of age, the simulation has a slightly stronger effect regarding physical force while having less effect regarding movability and sensory limitation.

Attention: Nobody must be shocked, depressed, or traumatized with age simulation!

  1. Dressing up starts with putting on the jump suit. Jackets and pullovers should be dressed off and laid aside, shoes should be taken off. The jump suit is used to protect the clothes and to improve hygiene. The size of the jump suit is adjusted by turning over the sleeves as needed.
  2. The special vest is put on and the nine weights are fitted into the pockets. The additional weight gives the test person a first experience of what an additional weight means for the body, as with overweight. For weaker than average persons weight pockets may be left empty. In addition to the weight on the chest, the side strips at both sides of the vest may now be used to further squeeze the upper body simulating breathing difficulties.
  3. Now the knee bandages are put on (four buttons with model Beta, 2 connectors with model Alpha). The knee-bandages simulate reduced movability. The model Beta knee bandages allow different levels of restriction, however only light restriction should be applied to be realistic. It is possible to put the bandages on while a person stands, but it is also possible to do so with a seated person stretching out the leg for the procedure. If a deep camping chair without arm rests is used, the person will later be surprized how hard it is to put on the shoes again and to get up.
  4. The elbow bandages are put on next (Three buttons with model Beta, 1 connector with model Alpha). The bandages simulate deteriorated movability. The bandages are put on while the arm is stretched out. They should be put on with close contact to the body, but should not be fastened too much. Reaching over the head will be more difficult now, but should not be impossible.
  5. The heavier pair of weights are now attached above the ankles, but must still allow wearing shoes. These weights simulate the reduced strength of the legs. Together with the weights in the simulation vest, the effect can be best demonstrated when walking up stairs.
  6. The test person now receives the gloves to put them on himself. The gloves simulate the reduced tactile sense. E.g. unpacking medication is becoming harder now.
  7. The short and fingerless wrist protectors can be put on to simulate stiffer fingers (basilar bones of the hand).
  8. Now the less heavy pair of weights are stripped around the lower part of the arms. It should be taken care that a wrist watch does not hurt the test person. Together with the reduced arm movability the test persons can now experience how much more difficult it is to reach out and grip things needed.
  9. The neck brace is put around the neck of the test person with the opening to the back. This limits the degrees the head can turn sideways, thus also limiting the field of vision.
  10. The test person now receives the goggles to put on himself. The test persons own pairs of fragile glasses should be put aside to a safe place, while the goggles can be put over stable glasses. The goggle with model Alpha simulates three effects, the peripheral limitation of the field of vision, a more blurred vision, and a change in colour vision. With model Beta there is a simulation optics simulating these three effects more exactly and in addition also two more effects, a light macular degeneration and an increaded need for illumination. Here there are two stages each adding 20 years of age with a vizier. It should be started with only 20 years of ageing, i.e. the vizier should be up.
  11. Now the ear muffs are put on. With increasing age hearing deteriorates, especially higher frequencies are no longer heard by the elderly.
  12. The dressing process is now completed, and now small tasks can be given that demonstrate the effects of being old, e.g. putting on shoes with laces, walking stairs, reading infos on medication, opening packages, operating a cell phone or a hearing aid, getting a certain amount of money to pay out of a purse. Tasks with liquids and task which make the simulation suit dirty should be avoided.

Every person in the simulation suit must be accompanied for safety! The fast process of ageing without the normal years of time for adjustment can lead to dizziness and faltering!

When using the age simulation suit for several days, the overall, the gloves and the neck brace should be washed at the end of every day. The overall and the gloves are machine washable, the neck brace should be hand washed. If necessary also the vest can be machine washed and the bandages can be hand washed. The remaining components can be cleaned with a hygienic towel.