By: Yaffa Liebermann, PT, GCS, CEO
During the second week of July, National Therapeutic Recreation Week is celebrated every year since established by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS) in 1984.
This week highlights the importance of engaging in activities and raising awareness for therapeutic recreation programs and services that could improve the health and well-being of individuals with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.
By definition, “therapeutic recreation” describes the use of leisure activities as a way to aid in patient recovery, with benefits including the development of an enhanced sense of well-being, teaching, and reinforcing everyday behaviors necessary for an improved quality of life, as well as offering a more entertaining avenue to help patients get better.
Recreational activities help patients recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities, build confidence and socialize more effectively. Activities may incorporate arts and crafts, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music and community outings. These activities can also be tailored to continue or assist with specific therapy goals including endurance, fine motor, strengthening as well as many others.
Many senior living communities offer wonderful activities that help residents maintain as much independence as possible. Residents with arthritis, for example, may benefit from engaging in a daily card game, a gardening program, and a gentle movement class such as Tai-chi.
From Sunday, July 7, 2019, through Saturday, July 13, 2019, take the time to appreciate your Activities Director and what “play” can do for medical recovery of your residents.