with RCS

Leicester breakfast host ages

BBC Radio Leicester's breakfast presenter Ben Jackson's been finding out what it feels like to get old as part of the corporation's Living Longer week of programmes.

Ben took part in a special age-mimicking process to simulate the effects of ageing and get an idea of the difficulties faced by the older generations.

The BBC Living Longer week of special programmes is being run across all their local radio stations as well as online and on regional television.

AgeUK helped with Ben's temporary ageing by using low-tech equipment that simulates various sensory impairments – such as goggles for different eye conditions, latex gloves for loss of dexterity, binding one arm to the body for lack of movement, ankle and wrist weights to slow movement down and ear plugs for loss of hearing. Ben was then given a series of everyday tasks to complete which emphasise the ageing process.

Ben says of the experience: "The shocking thing for me was just how tiring it was. Not only the physical side of having to deal with immobility and lack of strength, but the mental side of having to think of everything before I did it, particularly with my induced poor eyesight. I can appreciate now how being kept hanging around whilst out shopping, or being faced with lots of steps or poor lighting would be completely exhausting."

As part of the week of coverage BBC Local Radio has carried out research into the future of social care provision by local authorities in England and will reveal the number of complaints about elderly care services in the last 3 years. An indication of the best and worst places to grow old will also be provided through a specially commissioned report from Experian.

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