Winter Friday Forum – OT & Older Adults

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Date & Time
February 6, 2015
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

San José State University


POTAC & San José State University present

OT & Older Adults

Practical Approaches to Meet Cognitive, Psychosocial, and Physical Needs

with Elizabeth Gomes, MS, OTR/L; Susan Fisher, OTR/L; & Julie Groves, OTR/L

Friday, February 6, 2015
Registration: 11:30 AM
Presentation: 12 noon – 4:00 PM


San José State University
Central Classroom Building, CCB Rm. 115
One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192

Program Description

This session will provide participants with a multi-dimensional approach in viewing the role of the OT in working with older adults. Presenters will share their own innovative strategies for enhancing the lives of this population. Assessments and treatment interventions will be presented with a focus on improving care for individuals with dementia, decreasing the use of antipsychotics when indicated, and supporting aging in place through prevention, early intervention, and creative community-based programs.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Recognize occupational therapists’ role in serving older adults in the community.
  • Identify assessment screening tools for use with the older adult.
  • Describe various practice models in the continuum of care for the older adult.
  • Demonstrate understanding of community-based programs and resources designed to facilitate aging in place.

Agenda Outline

  • 12:00 PM Intro/Housekeeping/Announcements
  • 12:10–2:00 Elizabeth Gomes
    • CA Partnership to Improve Dementia Care;
    • OT’s unique contribution to improving dementia care and reducing use of antipsychotics.
  • 2:00–2:15 Break
  • 2:15–2:45 Susan Fisher
    • Prevention and Early Intervention with the Senior Companion Program in Santa Cruz County.
    • Screening for psychiatric needs; rule out medical conditions, cognitive screening if indicated (e.g. St. Louis Univ Mental Status Exam [SLUMS]), referrals/community partnerships/Senior Companion Program.
  • 2:45–3:15 Julie Groves
    • Balance Physical and Occupational Therapy Services: Out-patient and Mobile Clinics working with Seniors in Assisted Living or Home Environments. Aging in Place, Assessment tools [Timed Up and Go, Cognitive Screens], Creative Solutions.
  • 3:15–4:00 PM
    • Panel Q&A
    • Evaluation

Presenter Bios

Elizabeth Gomes, MS, OTR/L is the Chair of the Practice, Ethics and Reimbursement committee for OTAC. She has volunteered for three years with the California Partnership to Improve Dementia Care. She also serves as an expert witness for the California Board of Occupational Therapy. Elizabeth is a Dementia Care Certified Therapist.

Susan Fisher, OTR/L has worked in a variety of settings including partial hospitalization, home health and community-based outpatient. She has dedicated her career to working with individuals who experience severe and persistent mental illness. Susan has received specialized training and certification in the ACL, geriatric mental health, ANSA and with multiple cognitive assessment tools.

Julie Groves, OTR/L owns her own business, Therapy in Your Home. She serves a strong client-centered base, focusing on the client’s own goals and desires. Julie contracts with therapists throughout the Bay Area, from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, providing OT, PT, and Speech therapists who visit clients in their homes.


Come early to register, bring a bag lunch or pick up lunch at the Student Union across from CCB. Pay at the door: $35 for POTAC & OTAC members; $50 for nonmembers; students $10. Checks or cash only, no credit cards.

Certificates of Attendance will be provided to qualify for PDUs – 4 contact hours. A percentage of all proceeds go to the Kim Aspelund Memorial Scholarship.

Pre-registration: To reserve a space, please contact Lynne Andonian at ude.usjsnull@nainodna.ennyl or call (408) 924-3059 by Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Walk-ins are restricted without preregistration.


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