By Michael Ricciardelli
Etana Edelman, a third year Occupational Therapy student in the School of Health and Medical Sciences, was joined by one of her Professors, Meryl Picard, on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” to talk about strategies to keep the elderly online and out of stores in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Together, they outlined a plan of action and fielded calls from the popular radio show’s listeners.
The appearance on WNYC, which before the lockdown from COVID-19 had an average weekly audience of close to one million listeners, was preceded by a feature article Edelman published to the Seton Hall website and then The Star Ledger/NJ.com (New Jersey’s largest news organization) and The Indian Panorama, which publishes in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area as well as Texas.
The feature on WNYC, “Helping Elders Connect,” notes that,
For older Americans unused to connecting with services and loved ones digitally, Meryl Picard, professor of occupational therapy at Seton Hall University offers an occupational therapist’s perspective on how to help, and Etana Edelman, occupational therapy third-year graduate student at Seton Hall, shares her story of getting her grandmother set up with ordering groceries through an app.
In the feature piece in The Star Ledger/NJ.com, “N.J. student did her Florida grandmother’s grocery shopping. You can, too,” Edelman relates how her personal experience along with her studies in Occupational Therapy joined to allow her to teach her grandmother ways to order necessities and even engage in medical consults online. She notes that “Online resources are crucial tools in helping the elderly population avoid going to shopping centers during this pandemic,” and writes:
Occupational Therapists work with people across the lifespan to engage in their daily activities by promoting health and preventing, or living with, disability or illness. Throughout our graduate program at Seton Hall, we were exposed to community program development in our Wellness and Health Promotion seminar. We also gained experience educating older adults in e-literacy (accessing and using digital devices) in our Professional Formation Class. Many older adults already own devices but struggle with e-literacy. I was inspired by these experiences and began to consider how I could bring these skills to help my grandmother, and to other older adults in similar situations.
Also describing online tools as potentially crucial for older adults, the Indian Panorama, the article notes,
One of the main barriers to using these resources is knowledge of how to use them effectively. This presents an opportunity for Occupational Therapists (OTs) and other healthcare professionals to help their clients through these difficult times by creating guides to make these available online resources accessible to this aging population.
You can read and listen to more at:
NPR/WNYC, “Brian Lehrer Show,” “Helping Elders Connect.”
The Star Ledger/NJ.com, “N.J. student did her Florida grandmother’s grocery shopping. You can, too.”
Indian Panorama “Avoiding COVID-19: OT Student’s Compassion Keeps Elderly Safe” (Page 5)
Categories: Health and Medicine