Recreational Therapy’s Benefit to Seniors
The field of recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based approaches to help people with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. Its purpose, according to the American Theraputic Recreation Association, is to promote psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being.
The ATRA also says,
“Recreational therapy is not all fun and games. … When individuals are suffering from a physical injury or mental illness, they need help learning, not only how to live with their disability, but to enhance their quality of life by reducing the isolation that patients experience and helping them to participate in leisure activities.”
We at Destiny Senior Care build our trips and activities in a way that benefits seniors and increases their socialization. We know that the elderly benefit from activities that involve light exercise, such as going for walks, eating out, and interacting with others.
“You can learn more about a man in one hour of play than in a lifetime of conversation.”
Stenberg College, in British Columbia, Canada offers training in this field. They say that therapeutic recreation is important for seniors:
“Studies show that light exercise can have a positive effect on conditions such as hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and various mental illnesses. Therefore, it is crucial for Therapeutic Recreation workers to incorporate physical activities into senior recreation programs.”
Senior Lifestyle Magazine says,
“Therapeutic recreation for seniors is very beneficial. It helps with physical, emotional and mental well-being. Cognitive, social and motor functions can greatly improve for seniors with simple daily activities.”
Overcoming Obstacles to Getting Out
It’s too easy to assume that one’s loved one does not need such activities. But we all need more than food and a roof over our head. The fresh air and camaraderie helps us grow in mind and body. Sometimes seniors offer objections to doing so. We have seen seniors change their minds, however, when encouraged and reassured that we have their best interests in mind.
“Some people are so important in our life, not because we enjoy their company, but because we feel so lonely in their absence.” – Nishan Panwar
Activities outside the home should be considered in a home care agency’s offering of services, as well as companionship, personal care, and a senior’s health and fitness. Destiny Senior Care knows that all these pursuits must be integrated. We ensure this through our Custom Care Plan that is drawn up for our seniors.
“It is in his pleasure that a man really lives; it is from his leisure that he constructs the true fabric of self.” – Agnes Repplier
Opportunities for Senior Outings
At Destiny Senior Care, we look for opportunities for outings to shopping areas, parks, restaurants, apple orchards, art classes and other venues in Orland Park, Naperville, Aurora, Darien, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn and other communities.
Here at Destiny, we take our seniors on individual outings. But at times we take them on common outings so that there is an opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy one another’s company. This is one of the benefits of working with an agency that is flexible enough to schedule such activities.
Here are possibilities for outings that we at Destiny Senior Care may consider:
- Active games and sports
- Dancing, karaoke, and other performance arts
- Parties and other social gatherings
- Traditional games and puzzles
- Trips to nature centers
- Gardening, bird-watching, and other outdoor pastimes
- Arts and crafts
- Art shows
- Trips to museums
- Talks given in libraries
- Church socials and talks
- City-sponsored senior recreation programs
- Concerts in the park
- Historic log cabins
“Leisure should be a time to think new thoughts, not ponder old ills.” – Neil Strait
What are your thoughts of beginning a home care service for your senior with such activities as part of their Custom Care Plan?