The silly side of aging

Age Gain Now Empathy Suit
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?”

6 thoughts on “The silly side of aging”

  1. Much as I appreciate the interest and the effort something tells me the researchers have yet to develop a suit system that will allow its young wearer to ache for no good reason every morning, wish for a nap before noon and learn what the word “urgency” really means when nature calls suddenly and quite insistently.

    At least, they’re thinking about us for a change. 😉

    Great post!

  2. No matter what contraptions a young person dons on his or her body,
    (what a silly AGNES suit pictured!),
    they cannot truly appreciate the aging experience. How does one
    “put on” the psyche that the aging process brings on with the aches
    for no good reason or the wish for a nap before noon or the urges
    Dave speaks about I completely understand the marketability of
    we older people and our needs though. Another research project
    to tell what we would have told for free though? That is beyond me.

  3. Pam and Dave, you bring up good points. The emotional impact that comes with the realization…


    I have to go lie down now.

  4. Your last line “have you seen my keys? …” just reminded me of something: I still can’t find my pants.”

    ‘scuse me, I gotta go close the drapes.


  5. Oh my dear, we feel your pain. Really. If you don’t find those pants soon, it could get very cold out there.

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