In recognition of April being Occupational Therapy Awareness month, Gary and Mary West PACE  asked one of their  Certified Occupational Therapists, Alissa Lozoskie,  to share her story and insight as to what motivates her each day, why she  chose to work with older adults, and the unique approach she brings to her role when working with participants at the senior fitness center at  West PACE and at home.

Growing up, Alissa was fascinated by the intricacies of human behavior and the various ways people go about their daily routines. I guess you could say she was a bit of a people watcher—and  loved observing how individuals tackled tasks like tying their shoes, brushing their teeth, or even putting on a shirt. The idea that there were multiple ways to accomplish the same task intrigued her ,and she knew early on that she wanted to help people learn new things and improve their independence.

For Alissa, working with older adults felt like a natural fit. She always found it easier to relate to adults, and has a deep appreciation for the wisdom and life experiences they bring to the table. Hearing their stories, learning about their histories, and witnessing the challenges they’ve overcome is incredibly inspiring. But what really motivates Alissa  are those individuals who are determined to continue doing the things they love, whether it’s writing, playing music, cooking, or gardening. Their resilience and passion fuel her dedication to this work at Gary and Mary West PACE.

As an Occupational Therapist working with senior participants at West PACE San Marcos,  Alissa strives to treat every participant as if they were a member of her own  family. Building meaningful connections is key to effective therapy, so she makes it a priority to find common ground with each individual she works with. Whether it’s bonding over shared hometowns, sports teams, or even beloved pets, establishing rapport helps create a supportive and nurturing environment for growth and progress.

When conducting pace therapies, Alissa focuses on all of the ways the senior may “occupy” their time and seeks ways to improve function to help them love their life to the fullest.  From daily routines like bathing, dressing, toileting; cooking to gardening; or even being able to use their phone or read more easily if they have difficulty with hand coordination and seeing things clearly.  She takes into account the full picture, the person, the environment they are in and the activity that they are trying to improve.

Alissa shared  “one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is hearing what seniors  want to achieve and helping them make it happen.” Participants express their desires to play the piano again, go shopping independently, or even get back in the water and surf. These aspirations may seem simple to some, but they hold immense significance for the individuals striving to achieve them.  After speaking with Alissa and learning a bit more about the pace services she provides, it is quite clear that Occupational therapy isn’t just about completing daily tasks—it’s about helping people live life to the fullest, no matter their age or ability.

If you or someone you know are  55 or older and seeking assistance in maintaining your health and independence at home, Gary and Mary West PACE and support from therapists like Alissa Lozoskie may be the ideal next step. We love having visitors at our PACE center in San Marcos, and look forward to meeting you in person- give us a call at  (760) 280-2230 or visit us online at to connect with our team today!


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