NPR reported on a group of engineers walking through the airports in aging sensitivity suits. The suits were to help understand the unique issues of navigation for older adults. They added pounds to legs, earmuffs, and cloudy glasses, among other and more unique adaptions. The goal was to understand airport navigation from the perspective of the older adult.
I wonder about the expense of an aging sensitivity suit and how many hours were spent in research to manufacture such an outfit. I wonder why the group didn’t just walk with an older person, sit down, and watch how hard it was to get up. I wonder why they didn’t watch how long it took to walk the terminal or how hard it was to take off shoes. I wonder why they didn’t listen to a group of AARP travelers.
I wonder if you wearing an aging sensitivity suit, what would you learn?
Now, may I suggest, that through the entire year, we walk with our older adults and ask, “how is today?” and really listen. That we not wear a suit, but use our eyes, ears, and mind to understand and our voice to become an advocate for older adults. Become a year-around navigator for your older adult friends, loved ones, and those you sit behind in church.
Living Branches wishes to be a resource to those who walk with older adults. Is there a question, a situation, or a learning that could bring perspective and understandings? We walk with Older Adults. Contact Margaret Zook at Margaret.Zook@LivingBranches.org to learn more.
A benediction by Rachel and David Sitkovsky
May the God of ages past, the God of this day, and the God of tomorrow
This One God of eternal love and guidance, bless you and keep you.
May God’s love shine on you here in this place and be a light to your path as you go out into the world.
May God’s people be awestruck by the movement of God in our lives
And may we multiply God’s love in our acts and deeds.
May we celebrate a faith that is an ancient as the stones around us, and
as relevant as the air we breathe.
Go in Peace.