By 2040, 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be 65 or older—that’s more than 81 million people. This population boom will inevitably impact communities and families, while transforming the way businesses operate and deliver service. This presents a unique challenge to understand the needs, experiences and perspectives of older adults.
In response to these challenges, SCAN developed an interactive senior sensitivity workshop called Trading Ages® more than a dozen years ago. Participants in the program get first-hand “experience” of the various age-related issues that affect many older adults: vision and hearing loss, loss of dexterity and more. Presented in the context of a larger educational session, participants get a better understanding of the social, physical and emotional aspects of aging.
But we recently took the program even further and, using virtual reality, changed the Trading Ages experience from interactive to immersive.
Through the use of technology, we are able to bring the aging experience to life more authentically than ever before. It’s an important tool in fostering greater empathy and understanding, whether among family members and caregivers or those in a position to implement change.
Our goal is to equip others with the knowledge, skills and insight needed to serve the needs of this growing population with creativity and compassion. With insight comes innovation.