Aging Simulation Centers

OVERVIEW:

All parts of the body are affected by aging. Young children recognize the obvious signs such as wrinkling skin and graying hair. Other changes that are not as noticeable include hearing loss, vision changes, and changes in the ability to touch, taste, and smell. These changes can affect the way older people open a pill bottle, walk up and down stairs, or read the newspaper. The goal of the following simulations is for students to experience how these physical changes may affect daily living.

Appropriate for Grade Level: K-3 (May be adapted for older students.)

OBJECTIVES:

Students will:

  • Learn more about the aging process and the physical changes that occur as people grow older.
  • Understand how living with physical and sensory changes affects older people.

INDEX OF ACTIVITES:

"Fuzzy Eyeballs" Activities for simulating visual difficulty with focusing
"What Did You Say?" Activities which simulate partial hearing loss
"Butterfingers" Activities simulating difficulties with feeling and touch
"What Color Am I?" Activities which simulate loss of color vision
"Stiff Legs" Activities for simulating loss of agility and flexibility

EXTENSION IDEAS:

  1. Videotape students participation in the simulations for viewing at the next scheduled session with the older adult partners.

  2. Have students brainstorm and list ideas for things that could be done to make it easier for an older person with hearing problems, vision problems, or problems with mobility to cope with daily tasks.

  3. Ask students to write about one of the activities he/she experienced. How did you feel? Were there any times when you were frustrated? What was happening at that time?

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