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Ruth Smith takes part in Age UK’s ‘Sense of Ageing’ programme

AC R Smith at NACC LRAt the NACC this year, Age UK were present with their ‘Sense of Ageing’ simulation programme. The programme offers planners, designers and providers of products and services for older people the chance to experience age-related impairments, and to learn about the benefits of adopting inclusive approaches.

Our Registered Dietitian Ruth Smith visited and took part in the workshop this year which was run by Development Manager Jane Barmer.

For two hours participants had to wear glasses that replicated a common eye impairment in older people, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy (our dietitian Ruth got the latter). They also had to wear two gloves, a vinyl one that replicated the loss of touch sensation everyone gets in their fingertips, which is a natural part of ageing.  The other, replicates what it would be like to have arthritis.

Everyone taking part then had to undertake a range of different everyday activities, such as walking indoors and out, reading, opening food packaging, preparing food and drinks, eating a meal and drinking from a glass.

Ruth Smith comments below on the workshop:

“It was amazing how vulnerable you felt with a visual impairment.  It made everything more difficult to do and it took away your confidence at doing everyday things that we take for granted.  It was easy to see how older people could become socially isolated as they could easily lose their confidence to go outdoors. 

The loss of touch really made it more difficult to open and pick up things, in particular food packaging, which was a real eye-opener.  Trying to bend your fingers with the arthritic glove on was really painful.  I would definitely recommend this training to any business that caters to older people to get an insight into their consumer’s needs.”


For more information on the ‘Sense of Ageing’ please visit the link below:

You can also see more images from the NACC if you follow the link here:





Posted in: Dietitian - Ruth Smith, News

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