Events heighten awareness of occupational therapy

Try eating ice cream with one hand.

That is a task faced by some of the people involved in occupational therapy, and people will have an opportunity to experience that during an ice cream social Tuesday.

Steven Kline, Director of Occupational Therapy at the West Kaua‘i Medical Center, said that is just one of the events on tap as part of April being proclaimed Occupational Therapy Month here.

The popular ice cream social allows people to experience some of the obstacles faced by others who must deal with health problems in their daily lives.

During the social which will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., people will have to eat ice cream using just one hand and one arm with the help of adaptive eating equipment, Kline said.

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants provide specialized training, adaptive equipment and other resources to help individuals overcome limitations and live rewarding and satisfying lives.

Kline will be on hand to help people with the adaptive equipment.

Additionally, as part of the month-long celebration, Kline said he will be hosting a coffee-donut hour in the Occupational Therapy office today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Occupational therapy services are available to citizens in hospitals, health rehabilitation centers, schools, nursing homes and in the community.

During Occupational Therapy Month, the American Occupational Therapy Association makes the public aware of all the contributions occupational therapy makes to the health and productivity of a community’s citizens.

A final event in the month-long celebration is a Community Awareness Day on April 27.

Kline will be introducing different forms of adaptive equipment, different stations as well as introducing his new Cognitive Training Program — Brain Train.

This program is used for head injury, stroke and spinal cord patients. It can also be used for long-term care residents.

Consisting of four modules — Attention Span, Memory/Visual, Spatial/Visual orientation and logic skills, the program allows a patient to print out before and after scores for each task in a respective area.

The public is invited to participate in these programs.

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