Some great examples of walking in other shoes!
Dale Carter recently shared with me an interesting simulator that is designed to give the user the experience of what it might feel like to have Dementia. She detailed her experience with this on her blog, click here to read the entry.
While simulation programs like this one have been around for quite some time, I like the fact that this one seems to be so user-friendly and can be completed in a short period of time (15 minutes!). Click here for information on the simulation program.
As Dale commented in her post, the exercises/program can be secondary to the state of mind you are put in by “walking in someone else’s shoes”. Not only can it be a wake up call to important aspects in life that you have “missed”, but it can create an enhanced level of sensitivity that can dramatically improve your authenticity as a caregiver and a leader.
Along these lines a highly innovative company that utilizes immersion as a platform to good design is IDEO. You might remember an episode of the ABC “Nightline” television program where IDEO designers created the “perfect shopping cart”. Click here for some video excerpts. The GoodDesignAgeWell Blog by Jason Popko recently did a great post relating IDEO to the concept of immersion in elder care settings. Click here for the post.
My eyes have been opened to just how much our industry can talk amongst ourselves about what “they” want without trying to take steps to understand those we serve by walking in their shoes. I am excited at the discussions around simulation products, immersion exercises, and utilizing programs like IDEO in elder care settings.
This mindset benefits those that we are serving today, but it also gives us personal life planning benefits. The last time I checked none of us have a crystal ball to tell us what our future will hold or have the benefit of immunity to changes or conditions that we might deem to be undesirable.