To Age, or to Age Well?

 

Keep Strong, Keep Fit, Keep Supple. These are the mantras of Silver Grey Sports Club, or at least they are a good summary of them.

 

Keeping in shape to be able to continue doing the sports we love has always had what we regard as the extremely positive side-effect of being able to get more out of life. Now AgeLab, an entity with MIT, has given us yet more reason to do so in creating A.G.N.E.S.

 

Keep Strong, Keep Fit, Keep Supple. These are the mantras of Silver Grey Sports Club, or at least they are a good summary of them.

 

Keeping in shape to be able to continue doing the sports we love has always had what we regard as the extremely positive side-effect of being able to get more out of life. Now AgeLab, an entity with MIT, has given us yet more reason to do so in creating A.G.N.E.S. the Age Gain Now Empathy System.

 

Incentivising Silver Grey Sports Club members wasn't their first intention! They created AGNES in order to allow able bodied health workers to feel what it will be like to lose one's strength, flexibility and good vision. However, once you've seen what frailty will be like, you won't want to experience it sooner than absolutely necessary. Have a look..

 

 

We're sure you'll agree that one of the effects of watching this is to underline the all-over life benefits of working hard to avoid frailty. And if you can't avoid it entirely, then watching the video while still being relatively strong is very good motivation to work hard to delay it until the very end - or at least minimise it for as long as possible.

 

Incidentally, one facet of ageing experienced by wearers of AGNES is a weakening of vision. Research recently published by Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health shows a correlation between exercise (three times per week or more) and lower rates of Visual Impairment. For all of you who like a drink from time to time - and that's us included, by the way - there was also a better than average rate of Visual Impairment among those who had a drink once a week as opposed to those who either drank not at all or else drank too much. And smokers, past and present, experienced a higher rate of Visual Impairment. So, get out and exercise, have the odd drink but DON'T SMOKE in order to maintain your sight (among all the other benefits!).

Looking into the world of ageing, one sees many well intentioned examples of empathising with how it will be to be old and frail. When you think of the massive costs incurred in looking after an ever-ageing population, how much more economical as well as beneficial it would be to put resources into maintaining the health and strength of this age group, both in terms of the reduced consumption of health-care resources and the potentially increased social contribution they could then make.