Tampa’s Occupational Therapy Assistant students participated in a hands-on exercise that increased their awareness of the frustrations of growing older.  In order to diminish their senses, students  had to put on two pairs of gloves to simulate decreased sensation in their hands, take off glasses or put on visual impairment glasses to decrease their ability to see clearly (visual acuity), and use either earplugs or ear buds to simulate decreased hearing. Once they had everything on (or off), they had to complete a set of tasks: making a bed and folding laundry for home management, writing a letter with completed addressing of the envelope to a classmate for communication, and they had to play a game of Go-Fish for leisure participation. This exercise introduced students to what an elderly person may experience as well as the frustrations of growing older.

OTA growing old April 2016 1 (1) OTA growing old April 2016 1 (2)