Shown, from left: Grace Fisher, Ed.D., OTR/L, professor and chair of occupational therapy, Misericordia University; and students Holly Haberen, Slatedale, Pa; Leah Redinski, Larksville, Pa.; Susan Smaka, Shavertown, Pa.; and Michael Will Devitt, Drexel Hill, Pa.
Summer and Fall Semesters, 2012
A team of Misericordia University occupational therapy graduate students recently conducted research on senior living at St. Luke’s Villa Retirement Community of the Diocese of Scranton, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
The students, Leah Redinski of Larksville, Pa., Susan Smaka of Shavertown, Pa., Michael Will Devitt of Drexel Hill, Pa., and Holly Haberern of Slatedale, Pa., conducted a series of group activity sessions for independent apartment-dwelling seniors to investigate whether the happiness of older adults who reside in independent apartments can be improved through engagement in small group activities. The students are being advised and guided in their research by Grace Fisher, Ed.D., OTR/L., associate professor and chair of occupational therapy at Misericordia University.
The leisure activities, which the residents were involved in, included card playing, crafts, group games, tabletop bowling and bingo. Snacks also were served. The sessions ended in August with a Hawaiian luau themed party. Residents also enjoyed competing in a free raffle for a gift basket at each session. A preliminary and final happiness test was administered to the participants. The research study was coordinated with the help of Sherre Sabecky, independent living enrollment-admissions and marketing coordinator at St. Luke’s Villa. St. Luke’s Villa is an affiliate of Little Flower Manor and St. Therese Residence, and it consists of 50 licensed skilled nursing beds, 80 personal care home beds and 31 independent living apartments.
Fall Semester 2012
Sophomore Misericordia University students recently provided an enjoyable evening of health and wellness instruction, as well as some fun tabletop activities, for residents in the independent apartments at St. Luke's Villa in Wilkes Barre. Amanda Casem, OTS, Kara Yozwiak, OTS, Rose Siciliano, OTS, and Sarah Ickes, OTS, presented "Heart of a Champion.” Other MU OT programs offered at St. Luke's Villa were:
Samantha Panuski, Bonnie Hardik, Allison Ortman, Jessica Roe, and Colleen Noga
Spring Semester, 2013
“For our student research project, we implemented a program for a group of older adults living at St. Luke's Villa in Wilkes Barre. Our study, titled "Happiness and Social Interaction of Older Independent Apartment Residents in an Occupation-based Program," aimed to describe and evaluate how occupation-based activity programs may affect happiness and social interaction amongst older individuals in an independent living apartment facility. During the sessions we played trivia games, made a variety of crafts such a door decorations, flower pots, and other keepsakes that were associated with the various holidays. In addition to crafts, we played different games that were intended to facilitate social interaction between the residents.”
Allison Ortman, Bonnie Hardik, Jessica Roe, Colleen Noga, Samantha Panuski, all from the MU Occupational Therapy MS Program Class of 2014.
The students were guided in this research project by Dr. Grace Fisher, Professor and Chair of Occupational Therapy at Misericordia University.