Debra Lindstrom

Debra Lindstrom


Employed by / Works For: School of Packaging

Debra Lindstrom, PhD, OTRL, FAOTA has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years and is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University.  She earned a Masters of Occupational Therapy and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Sociology from Western Michigan University.  She was recently awarded a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  She started the “Twinges in the Hinges” water exercise class for arthritis at the Kalamazoo Family YMCA in 1981 and has presented multiple programs throughout the area on how to minimize pain and protect joints while carrying out activities of daily living.  .  She is a Founding Fellow for the WMU Center for Gerontology.  She has worked closely with AARP MI since 2005 and was the Executive Volunteer for Livable Communities from 2005-2012, and an Advisor to the Executive Council from 2012-2014She is the co-creator of the AARP program HomeFit that has been provided in Michigan since 2009 and has been adopted by 25 other AARP State offices and is gaining in popularity throughout the rest of the United States.  She is a recent co-author of the chapter Assistive Technology and Older Adults in a 2015 textbook on OT with Aging Adults.  She has an extensive list of journal publications, and has published on grip/pinch strength testing and hand manipulation assessment psychometrics and norms.  She is currently involved with a project to examine the ecological validity of a multiple setting pinch meter to determine the pinch strength needed to open different packages.  She completed a collaborative project with Dr. Laura Bix, MSU School of Packaging, to determine grip strength older adults needed to open different types of medication packages.