This morning, we welcomed a delegation of twenty pre-medical students from Union College in New York. The group is currently touring the Netherlands to get a thorough impression of the Dutch healthcare system. This was the third consecutive year that students from Union College visited Leyden Academy in the summer.
Communications manager Niels Bartels provided the students with an introduction of Leyden Academy and some background on the demographic revolution in The Netherlands, with life expectancy rising and the baby boom generation reaching retirement ages. These developments raise interesting challenges that require innovative solutions. Scientific staff member Lex van Delden explained how our modern environment is making it difficult for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and argued we can make healthier and more social choices by making subtle changes in our daily work and home environments. Finally, the students experienced some of the impairments of old age by trying on the ‘ageing suit’. Seeing your classmates age radically before your eyes and being unable to perform simple daily tasks, turned out to be a hilarious end to an informative morning.