recreational therapists

The Role of Recreational Therapists in Post-Acute Therapy

Undergoing any type of surgery that requires post-acute therapy is difficult enough as it is. There are often so many serious concerns and emotions that tie into a patient’s daily reality that feels like a struggle. 

Recreational therapists are a much-needed contrast for patients. They offer a positive interruption to an otherwise mundane recovery routine.

Understanding Recreational Therapy

Therapeutic recreation is another way of saying recreational therapy. You’ll hear these terms used interchangeably. However, this type of therapy is different than what’s common in the world of therapeutic practice. They are activity-based methods used in healthcare environments.

Activities are carefully designed to meet the needs of the individuals and what they are struggling with the most. These struggles are not limited to physical constraints, as therapists are considerate of additional challenges.

Recovery is multi-faceted, and patients benefit the most when they receive therapy that treats all their needs. Recreational therapy is known to assist patients with their psychological, social, and emotional well-being.

The Purpose of Recreational Therapy

This style of treatment is designed to prioritize patient-centered care. This means the patient is central to designing and deploying a care plan. These activity-based therapy plans are meant to restore and rehabilitate the patient in order to accelerate their level of function and independent living. 

Another benefit of recreational therapy is improving mental health through involved activity. When patients are engaged and having fun, they feel a sense of connection and positive feedback which reduces levels of anxiety and depression. 

Progress Promotes a Cycle of Positivity

When patients engage in recreational therapy and begin to see progress, a snowball effect tends to happen. Therapeutic activities tend to be fun and engaging which makes it easy to stay consistent with a schedule. 

This consistency helps patients eventually reach milestones in their recovery. With every milestone, patients and loved ones are able to experience improved health and wellness. This positivity becomes fuel for continuing with the process. Long-term recovery relies heavily on patient participation. That’s why remaining consistent is so important. 

What Types of Activities do Recreational Therapists Do?

Recreational therapists utilize personalized techniques to improve a person’s range of motion, improve functional movements, and strengthen and reinforce muscle response in areas that were injured or atrophied after hospitalization. Patients may have special areas of interest, and the therapist can choose activities that will help improve the function and mobility needed to perform those loved activities.

Every therapist desires to promote long-term health and independence as much as possible through well-designed activities. These activities may include outdoor activities, arts and crafts, stretching, music, coordination exercises, memory strengthening games with other individuals, etc. There are many ways to develop meaningful activities with the same end goals in mind. 

Recreational therapists are constantly evaluating what is working and what adjustments are needed to promote the best results possible. It is often a highly rewarding experience for the patient and the therapists when happiness and healing occur simultaneously.

South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier post-acute Partner

Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization. 

South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. 

Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.

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