At the Tallahassee campus, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) students taking the Aging and Performance Skills course completed an in-class activity called the Into Game to enhance students’ understanding of elderly patients and approaches to working with them in the field.
During the activity, each student takes on the role of an elderly person, who begins with a house, a profession, three important possessions, and an income. As the game progresses, each student moves from an independent life in the community to a dependent lifestyle at a long-term care facility through various life events, which affect their simulated health, wealth, self-value, ability, and possessions. Following the activity, students discussed what experiences led their elderly personas to transition, as well as the emotional effects resulting from these transitions and the attitudes of the game’s four facilitators.
The objective is to provide future OTAs with new perspectives on geriatric patients and endow them with the ability to remain creative therapists while working with this population.