It’s the satisfaction of helping others that keeps Rosemary Dellaera coming back each day to her job as a physical therapy assistant at Baystate Rehabilitation Care.
“I truly enjoy helping people, especially those patients who really want to get better and who work hard at it. They are so grateful afterwards for what you have helped them to achieve. It makes you feel good to know that you played a role on their path to recovery,” she said.
Back when she was a single parent with two young children, now grown, Rosemary said she needed to find a good job to support both of them.
“I was always a physically active person, so I thought about going into the health field. I looked into the possibilities and thought physical therapy would be a good match for me,” said the PT assistant, who went on to attend Springfield Technical Community College to earn her degree.
What They Do
Physical therapy assistants, or PTAs, work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Involved in the direct care or patients, they help those recovering from injuries and illnesses to regain movement and manage pain.
“I work in the orthopedic area, so I see a lot of back pain. It’s a very common complaint,” said Dellaera.
Still physically active today, Dellaera said she continues with her workout routines, but no longer runs marathons as she once did.
“I enjoy running, hiking, skiing, and relaxing at the beach,” she said.
When Dellaera isn’t working or exercising, she is kept busy by helping to raise her nine-year-old grandchild.
Let go of the stress
Dellaera has some advice for those who feel the stresses of life.
“I’ve had my own health issues. I’m a breast cancer survivor. But I try not to let stress overwhelm me because at the end of the day, what really matters is your health,” she said.
While Dellaera said she is looking forward to spending time with family on Thanksgiving, you won't find her in the kitchen early that holiday morning.
Instead, she will be busy at the Stuffing The Pantry 5K Run/Walk, which steps off from American Saw (Lenox) at 8 am, to benefit the Open Pantry in Springfield.
“But I won’t be running. I’m on the committee and will be working to help get the race off smoothly,” she said.
Born and raised in Longmeadow, but now living in Springfield, Dellaera has lived all over the country, moving back to the area about 20 years ago.
“I’d have to say Colorado is my favorite place on Earth. My son lives out there and it’s just beautiful, just gorgeous,” she said.