Jokes about getting old begin in childhood and continue for decades until – gasp – one actually shows signs of age. It’s another case of it’s funny ‘til it’s not. Even when the joke’s on me, I get it, I really do. We joke because what else are we gonna do?
Hooray for Baby Boomers, whose aging numbers are now so great that their wants and needs can’t be ignored. ’Bout damn time.
As we recognize each new twinge and wonder why we keep forgetting things, scientists are busy studying ways to simulate these conditions, illustrating for a younger crowd exactly how bodies feel as we adjust to increasing years.
Enter AGNES, the pretend-you’re-old suit developed at MIT.
AGNES is an experimental piece of wardrobe that duplicates symptoms of aging so that no matter who’s wearing it (her) the facts of life are right there.
This is not for completely altruistic reasons, of course. Marketers want to appeal to the buying side of this burgeoning population. Research can help them make labels easier to read and help designers insure easier navigation of steps and walkways. All kinds of entrances and exits and hardware are being examined right this minute.
For instance – would you like to get into and out of the next new car you buy much more easily than before (without the appearance of actually being older?) The answers are coming right up.
We who are just ahead of Baby Boomers would have gladly told the researchers these things for free. In fact we tried; we’ve been vocal about aging for a while now, but until the marketing opportunities aimed at millions of older Boomers appeared, not many wanted to listen. So thanks, Boomers, for moving into the land of “Have you seen my keys?”