SPRINGFIELD — Students in the occupational therapy program at American International College were seen in various locales in Greater Springfield recently, teaching residents of all ages how to live smarter and more safely.
Topics such as home safety for the elderly, healthy habits for those living with diabetes, and ways school-age children can avoid stress or injury from overloaded backpacks were covered. The students, who worked in teams of threes, got a chance to practice their skills but also brought helpful information to the community and some attention to the field of occupational therapy.
The community service projects were part of an occupational therapy course simply called “Leadership,” led by professor Sue Ordinetz.
“The students studied current and emerging areas of occupational therapy,” explained Ordinetz.
Kristen Maak, who participated in an informational session at the South Hadley Council on Aging titled “Reducing Hazards in Your Home,” explained that occupational therapy is especially important to the elderly population.
“Occupational therapists help promote independent living in the elderly population, and one of the ways we do that is by identifying and remedying hazards in the home,” she said.