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Initial posts are original contributions based on the assigned discussion board prompt. The initial post should be 225-250 words in length, clearly refer to course materials and demonstrate mastery of course material. In additional to an initial post, each student is expected to make response posts.  

After reviewing the “Aging Simulation Instructions” in this week’s module, please reflect on  the following questions:  1. Describe your experience completing all three simulated aging related impairments. What difficulties did you encounter while completing the activity? Were any of those difficulties unexpected? Have your thoughts or attitudes about older adults with similar impairments changed as a result of this exercise? Why or why not? 2. Select one of the simulated impairments and identify one major Biological Theory that you think best explains the impairment. Support your answer with reference to the course materials or another scholarly source. 3. Finally, how does participation in this simulation affect your approach to your own aging process? 

To complete this activity, you will need to gather a variety of household items. You will need:

  • Ear Buds or Headset and device to play white noise (I use a free app on my phone). Alternately, you can use Ear Plugs, Cotton Balls or Kleenex
  • Rubber Exam Gloves (like those found in a doctor’s office) or a Pair of Winter or Gardening Gloves
  • A piece of clothing with buttons (such as a shirt)
  • A piece of clothing with zipper (dress, slacks or jeans)
  • Tennis Shoes with Shoelaces
  • A Medicine Bottle or Bottle of Over the Counter Medicine with a safety cap such as Tylenol
  • Heavy Duty Tape (Duck Tape, Masking Tape or Packing Tape)
  • Old Pair of Reading Glasses or Sunglasses
  • Chapstick or Lotion or Vaseline
  • Round Sticker or Duck Tape or Masking Tape
  • Any Book or Magazine or Newspaper
  • Socks
  • A Helping Hand from a Classmate, Roommate, Family Member, Neighbor, etc. You will need assistance to complete the activity.

Complete the following tasks:

Simulated Arthritis and Hand Contractures

  1. Put on gloves. On your non dominant hand, slightly curve your pinky finger, ring finger and middle finger together and tape them together with heavy duty tape. Once finished you should feel as though you have control to move your thumb, pointer finger independently, but your remaining three fingers function more as a single unit. On your dominant hand, ball your hand into a fist. Release your thumb and pointer finger from the fist. Tape the remaining three fingers to your palm. Once finished you should feel as though you have the ability to move your thumb and pointer finger. Your remaining fingers will be in a contracted position. You may need a friend to help you tape your hands together and release them when finished with the activity. Take care not to bind your fingers or hand so tightly that you impair circulation.
  2. With gloves on and fingers tapes as instructed, open a bottle of medicine with a safety cap. 
  3. Button a piece of clothing.
  4. Manipulate the zipper on a piece of clothing. 
  5. Tie your shoes. 
  6. Think about the following questions:
    • Describe the experience. Did you experience frustration or potential embarrassment? How so?
    • Discuss how conditions such as arthritis or contracted hands could affect an individual’s ability to accomplish normal everyday activities of daily living?
    • Besides the activities you attempted, in what ways might such impairments affect other activities for individuals?
    • Describe two assistive devices individuals could use to help them adapt to similar limitations.

Simulated Hearing Impairment

  1. Attach a headset or earbuds to a cell phone or other device to play white noise. I use an app on my cell phone. Alternately, you could download a white noise recording. If you do not have access to these items, you can place ear plugs, cotton balls or kleenex in your ears to dampen your ability to hear normally.
  2. With the white noise playing at a low level ask a friend to stand out of your range of vision and have them give you instructions on things to do.
  3. After a few minutes, increase the volume of your white noise to medium. Ask your friend to remain out of your vision and give you instructions on things to do again.
  4. After a few minutes, with the volume of your white noise on medium, turn on the television or radio so you can hear the program. Ask your friend to again give you instructions on things for you to do while out of your range of vision. 
  5. Think about the following questions:
    • Describe the experience. Did you experience frustration or potential embarrassment? How so?
    • Describe at least two important ways in which age-related hearing loss may affect individuals?
    • List at least three ways age-related hearing loss may be misinterpreted by others, and thus reinforce aging stereotypes.
    • Describe two assistive devices individuals could use to help them adapt to hearing loss and two ways in which social work practitioners can adapt their approach in order to more successfully engage with hearing impaired individuals. 

Simulated Vision Loss

  1. Using an old pair of reading glasses or sunglasses, place a circular sticker on the center of each lens. If you do not have a circle shaped sticker, you can cut any sticker into a round shape or you can cut a piece of masking tape or duck tape into a small circle. You may want to tape a small edge of the sticker together to make it easier to remove at the end of the activity. 
  2. Next coat the surface of the glasses with a thin layer or chapstick, lotion or vaseline. 
  3. Put on the glasses and read the label on a bottle of medicine. It can be a prescribed medicine or an OTC medication.
  4. Put on the glasses and read a portion of a book, magazine or newspaper. 
  5. Think about the following questions:
    • Describe the experience. 
    • How might vision impairments lead to medication management issues for older adults?
    • How might medication management errors or slowness in accomplishing tasks with age-related vision loss might be mistaken as evident for other problems, such as dementia?
    • Discuss two strategies that could be employed to help individuals function better with age-related vision impairments.