In a new national program called The Secure Project, the Carolinas Healthcare System is helping its employees to better understand seniors by showing them what it’s like to be elderly, to see life through a senior’s eyes.

The project brings understanding of the challenges and struggles facing the elderly by using special glasses, which simulate conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration, and gloves, which mimic conditions like arthritis. The goal is to provide those who work with seniors with the kind of empathy that can be achieved only through persona experience.

In one example of a training exercise, employees are outfitted with glasses that simulate the yellowing of the optical lens and then asked to separate different color pills from a prescription bottle. “They all look the same color. It’s incredible we don’t have more patients who have problems with medication interactions,” noted project participant Susan Marston.

The Secure Project is not limited to health care workers. Any type of business that deals with seniors can take part in the program.