Do you have any idea what life will be like when you’re 80?

Genetics and a look at your senior family members might offer you a clue, but scientists are working on creating ways for people to experience aging without the years or medical problems.

Applied Minds LLC has created the R70i, a suit that ages the wearer 40 years. The exoskeleton works in tandem with an Oculus virtual reality headset to impair vision and hearing, reduce mobility, and add weight to the wearer. In essence, you can experience all the medical drawbacks of aging. The suit will be used by insurance company Genworth Financial to help them predict the physical risks of muscle deterioration, arthritis, and more.

Why would anyone want to age forty years in a matter of minutes?

The inventors of R70i believe that the suit can help companies effectively understand the aging process, and the risks that accompany it. Medical research teams can use the suit to simulate the aging process when investigating common risks for seniors, caregiver companies could use the suits to help employees understand the challenges facing their charges, and the R70i suit could help innovators learn about the how the needs of seniors change as they age.

Tech companies are also working on ways to monitor senior health without intrusive machines. The Bodycap e-Celsius might be the newest way for medical professionals to take vitals for seniors. The e-pill is a small, swallowable pill which can track temperature, fluctuation in vital signs, and even spot irregular patterns in body functions that will predict a future illness. Imagine having the ability to monitor a senior’s heart, without dragging an EKG around.

Whether monitoring vitals or letting the able bodied experience rapid aging, technology is helping us understand the aging process in new and innovative ways.

What’s your favorite song?

Whether it’s a golden oldie or new music, chances are, if it’s your favorite you know the lyrics by heart. You sing them on long car rides, in the shower, or when you’re having a good day. It turns out, these impromptu karaoke sessions are good for more than your vocal training.

Finnish researchers have found that singing may be a way to improve brain function, even in patients with early stage dementia. Singing improved the mood and the cognitive abilities of everyone in the study, especially those with early stage dementia.

Researchers studied the effects of music on the brain for 10 weeks, allowing seniors to sing their favorite tunes, hum music, and listen to tunes. Seniors with mild dementia showed improvement in memory, thinking skills, and their ability to get around. Those without dementia showed improved memory skills as well.

Singing also served as a mood elevator. Seniors who were encouraged to sing reported mood improvement and increases in optimism.

What does this mean for the seniors in your life?

It means it’s time to get musical.

If your loved one is having trouble with memory or mood, consider signing them up for a music class or a senior singing group. An activity with a musical theme is also an excellent idea for seniors with no memory problems, as it will help keep them sharp. If you can’t find a music-based activity, singing along may be the key to victory. Get your senior’s favorite music and arrange for an interactive concert. Afraid of sounding off-key? The study shows that even those who listen to music can reap the mental benefits.

Whether you’re hoping to keep your mind honed or simply interested in a sing along, music may be the key to keeping healthy in 2016.

As the page turns on 2015, it’s time to look back on the year that was and make some decisions about the year you’re going to have. The traditional way to play for 2016 is to make a New Year’s Resolution. We all know that most resolutions fly by the wayside sometime in February, so it’s important to make a commitment you can stick to.

At Capital City Nurses, we believe seniors and their caregivers should make a resolution that will help them age successfully in the coming months. Here are our favorite resolutions for 2016:

  1. Get Out. Sure, it’s nice to stay in for a quiet evening or two, but when seniors stay in, it can be dangerous. The National Council on Aging found that socially isolated seniors had higher rates of physical illness as well as reported feelings of depression. This year, make the commitment to engage with your community. Go to a local senior center, schedule weekend lunch date with friends and family, or simply go out in the world to run your errands.
  2. Get Moving. Exercise is one of the most important ways to help an aging body. The CDC notes that regular exercise helps seniors avoid falls and live at home more successfully. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to bench pressing 200 lbs. or running a marathon, just try to work in 30 minutes of activity a day. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, move for 5 minutes and work your way up. A walk, gardening, water aerobics, pick an activity that appeals to you and will keep you motivated.
  3. Get Interested. Wisdom is often said to come with age, so seniors should be wise enough to know they don’t know it all. Keeping your brain engaged is a great way to stave off mental decay as you age. Studies have shown that learning a new language is an especially effective way to hone mental abilities. Challenge yourself in 2016 with a class you’ve always wanted to take. Check out local colleges and senior programs for lists of great classes that can get you motivated.

Whether you’re looking forward to another wonderful year, or hoping to make some changes for a better 2016, these three resolutions will help you enjoy the next 12 months.