UNE’s Regi Robnett writes column about staying engaged during changing times

“Living life to its fullest” is the theme of a Portland Press Herald column written by Regula Robnett, Ph.D., OTR/L, professor of occupational therapy (OT) and associate director of the UNE Center for Excellence in Aging and Health (CEAH).

The column recognizes April as Occupational Therapy Month, which celebrates both OT practitioners and daily occupations, the intentional and routine activities people engage in as they live their daily lives. But the column also acknowledges the challenges presented to both patients and OT practitioners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many things we love to do … have had to be put aside for the time being. That is just the hard truth. We must work together (remotely) to get through this pandemic in the best way we can,” Robnett writes. “The good news is that many of us are rising to this challenge, and for that accomplishment we all need to be commended.”

Robnett discusses the many ways the CEAH – which focuses on research on healthful aging and improving the lives of older adults in Maine and beyond – has reached out to serve its regional community members. Because older adults are more at risk of complications from COVID-19, the center has been holding “peer connections” on video conferencing service Zoom to maintain a sense of community.

Robnett also lists a number of ways to stay engaged while social distancing, including playing music, dancing, sorting through photographs, and more.

“We will make it through this crisis,” she assures. “Please embrace those occupations available to you. Dream up new ones. If you are at a loss or just need to reach out, call an occupational therapist today. We care. Our purpose is to help you reach your goals so that each of you can live life to its fullest.”

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