Rozanne Puleo and Lisa D'Ambrosio Research fellow and research scientist, MIT Agelab
Cambridge, Massachusetts, use a suit called AGNES (the age gain now empathy system) to research the changing needs of boomers.
Puleo: "The suit has a pelvic harness that connects to a headpiece, mimicking the spine and restricting mobility, range of motion, joint function, balance, and vision. We've suited up students and taken them to the grocery store to purchase foods with low sugar, low sodium, and low fat -- foods commonly purchased by older adults. They found that it was very challenging to locate these items on the shelf. That's valuable information that we can take back to organizations."
D'Ambrosio: "The fact that we have people living longer than ever before has significant implications for how we live as a society. We have to make sure that as we all age, we're able to maintain our qualities of life. That starts with the generation approaching retirement now. They're not planning on being relegated to the couch. They see it as retirement from a job, but not from life."
Puleo: "It's a matter of learning what works best and what's most user-friendly, not just boomer-friendly. We have to find solutions that transcend age."