17 August 2019
Ivan experiences the different phases of life for an octogenarian. Photo: Facebook
Ivan experiences the different phases of life for an octogenarian. Photo: Facebook

Life at 80 beats being bored to death

For a 26-year-old man, living life at 80 sure beats being bored to death.

In fact, octogenarians are capable of having fun and breaking out of the stereotype — worn, weathered people being fed, idling, watching TV half-asleep, or eyes fixed in a permanent gaze at nothing.

But Ivan Lin did not arrive at the conclusion from nothing. He lived the experience by temporarily aging himself 60 years and living with real old people in an elderly home.

The idea was part of Lin’s research for Jade Club, a social venture that provides care to elderly communities through fun exercises, in which he is an executive, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

Ivan got himself into a specially designed suit which squeezed him into a hunchback. Lead weights were added to make him feel heavy on the hands, wrists and feet.

He also wore yellow shades to mimic the eyesight of a man with age-related macular degeneration.

To understand what it feels like to swallow with difficulty, he drank thickened water. “It was like drinking water with corn starch,” he said.

Most of the time, Ivan stayed in bed to see what it’s like for people who are unable to walk.

And to complete the experience, he wore diapers and received bath and sponging from nurses.

“At one point, I wanted to be invisible so no one could see me,” Lin said. “I felt like my existence had no value and my self-confidence was all gone.”

But after three days and two nights in the facility, and having seen it all from the perspective of an elderly person, Lin came around to the realization that there’s life after 80. 

He has a long way to get there. 

Come to think of it, he has already been there.

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Ivan teaches the elderly some fun exercises. At right, he struggles to balance himself in special weighted gear. Photo: Facebook, Apple Daily

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