February is observed as Recreational Therapy Month! Recreational Therapy involves incorporating physical activity and recreation into the therapy of a patient based on their illness and/or health conditions. This type of therapy is a way for patients to regain some freedom that would otherwise be restricted in their situation, as well as rehabilitate a person’s mobility, wellness, and independence. Therapists of this profession use recreation as an avenue to decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression in their patients and to help them to gain confidence and create new relationships. It has benefited many people of all ages and conditions.
Benefits of Recreational Therapy
Recreational Therapy involves many different activities, and all of them result in positive health outcomes for the patient’s body and mind. Not only does it support the patients as treatment, but it also impacts the consumers of community services who participate in the activities. This therapy also leads to lower healthcare costs and enhanced patient outcomes.
Some ways Recreational Therapists, (RTs), make it possible:
- Providing active, goal-centered care that results in reaching those goals.
- Ability to develop their treatment in a home or in community environments.
- Providing cost-effective treatment and means for the family and/or community.
- Recognizing the person as a whole with the purpose of building their independence physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.
- Providing activities that focus on skills a person can incorporate into their everyday lives and increase their independence.
Overall, RTs give the best possible care to their patients, and their work leads to true and lasting outcomes in a person’s life. Hundreds of people have benefitted from the work they do. Although, they don’t do it all alone.
American Therapeutic Recreation Association
ATRA is a non-profit organization that is the only association that represents the interests and needs of RTs. They provide an informational and resourceful website that details many of the things RTs do and gives the therapists much needed research and support. They have an upcoming conference that will provide scholarships to help professionals and students who come to the event. The conference itself is free of charge for attendees, though that brings a heavy cost upon the organization. Because of this, ATRA would value any donation, large or small, that’d support the work they do. Not only would the money help their organization, but it would also provide for all RTs who utilize their information and assistance. To donate click here.
This month, remember to spread awareness of Recreational Therapy and all the benefits it provides its patients with. Thank Recreational Therapists today!
American Therapeutic Recreation Association. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.atra-online.com/.