The next generation of healthcare professionals that provide medical services to seniors in retirement living conditions will have been able to see life through the eyes of their patients thanks to a recent seminar on disabilities in the elderly.
At the University of South Carolina, gerontology students were able to mimic the conditions experienced by aging Americans, using bulky gloves that simulated arthritis to try and open pill bottles and complete other tasks, as well as ear plugs and partial blindfolds to approximate loss of some senses.
"It was illuminating to experience firsthand the vision loss that comes with age," said Zachary Gassoumis, a doctoral student.
"I have worn glasses since I was 10, but I now realize I would have a hard time enduring the effects of cataracts or macular degeneration."
The Trading Ages program is part of a partnership with a healthcare company that aims to help students achieve a better understanding of the physical needs of the elderly patients they will be serving in retirement living communities and other facilities.