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ATSU’s Student Occupational Therapy Association holds ‘Geri-Lympics’

A.T. Still University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) recently hosted the “Geri-Lympics,” an adaptive sports day at a senior living community on Oct. 9, 2023, in Mesa, Arizona. 

Around 50 students from ATSU-Arizona School of Health Sciences’ (ATSU-ASHS) Occupational Therapy (OT) department visited Fellowship Square, an independent and assisted living facility, where they utilized their occupational therapy lens and clinical reasoning skills to adapt a variety of lawn games so all residents could participate. 

“OTs have a unique perspective on healthcare as we understand the medical model of practice as well as what motivates and engages people in their own health,” explained second-year student Emerson Jesus, MSOT, ’24.

“Activities like this not only give us an opportunity to work with the public before we start fieldwork, but also deepen our understanding on how to make therapeutic activity more engaging and meaningful for people,” she added.

Throughout the day, OT students learned how to adapt different activities to the geriatric population, ranging from high-activity games such as volleyball and cornhole to lower-activity minute-to-win-it style games.

Jesus also explained that the secondary goal of this activity was to show students how much fun working with the geriatric population can be.  

“As important as the learning was for the students, I also just really wanted to make a fun and engaging afternoon for the individuals at the facility,” she said. “It also allows us to give back to the community we will be healthcare practitioners in.”


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