AgeLab Researchers and AGNES Attend 2022 Aging Life Care Association Conference

by Adam Felts

AgeLab’s Age Gain Now Empathy System, or AGNES, visited Orlando, Florida for the Aging Life Care Association Conference, an event that brings together aging professionals for educational sessions, networking, and local activities The 2022 session was the first in-person iteration of the conference since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference included a discussion of PBS’s Fast Forward documentary, which used AGNES to show aging Americans what their lives might be like as they get older—with the aim of fostering conversations and new thinking. Director Michael Eric Hurtig played the “Fast Forward” trailer, gave an overview of the film and its approach, and described AGNES and its purpose as a research & an empathy tool.

In addition to a screening of the documentary, AgeLab researchers Lexi Balmuth and Sophia Ashebir outfitted Jennifer Pagano, one of the conference co-chairs, in the complete AGNES suit, before she made a dramatic entrance into the session. As she engaged in tasks like navigating the busy room and picking up a pen from the floor, she reported to the audience what she was feeling and experiencing while wearing the suit.

Later, the AgeLab researchers manned an exhibition booth for the conference. At the AgeLab booth, attendees could try on components of AGNES—including gloves and goggles—and experiment with opening pill bottles and handling zippers and buttons. Visitors to the exhibit were also invited to post their thoughts on what people should do today to prepare for their future as an older person. "Build deep conversations," one conference attendee suggested.

  • Share
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Get Involved

Interested in this area of study? See how you can participate in AgeLab research or become a volunteer.


About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

More From the Blog

2020 OMEGA Summit Brings Together Students, Aging Professionals, Past Scholarship Winners

October 30, 2020

2020 Summer Interns Work on OMEGA, Lifestyle Leaders, C3 Project

August 26, 2020

2021 Spring Speaker Series Begins with Presentation from Dr. Catherine García on Social Determinants of Health

March 23, 2021