Improve the quality of life with Recreation therapy…

Stress, Fatigue, Depression, lack of confidence, deterioration in efficiency and different kinds of physical, mental and emotional disabilities have become a common problem now-a-days which affects all age groups and classes. The article tells you all about the management of such problems and advantages of Recreation therapy which is a permanent and safe way to soothe your mind, body and soul.

leisure fitness

Recreational therapy plays a primary role in enhancing the quality of life and productivity . Enjoyable activities and social relations are significant in promoting the quality of life and productivity of the individual with a disability.

Recreation therapy is based upon a holistic framework that allows the focus to be on all aspects of improving an individual`s health and functioning. By providing structured and unstructured therapy driven services, recreation therapy may be used for Improving physical abilities, Building confidence, Promoting greater self reliance, Development and/or enhancement of leisure skills, Strengthened interpersonal skills, Development and/or enhancement of leisure awareness, Empowering veterans to advocate for positive self growth and change and finally Enrichment and creation of a meaningful, quality of life.

Recreation therapy is also known as diversional therapy as it provides treatment via recreation activities to deviate the people from their problems and ills. Using activities that range from arts and crafts, movement, and games to interaction with animals, the therapy help people improve their mental, physical, and emotional well-being and divert them to normal life. It helps individuals reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively so that they can enjoy greater independence and reduce or eliminate the effects of their illness or disability. In addition, the therapy help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities.

Differing from recreation services, recreational therapy utilizes various activities as a form of active treatment to promote the independent physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning of disabled people, as a result of trauma or disease. Enhancing current skills and facilitating the establishment of new skills for daily living and community functioning is the part of the recreation therapy.

Benefits of Recreation therapy –

The many benefits of recreation and leisure have been scientifically documented. These include improved physical fitness skills, reduced stress, an improved sense of self-confidence and self-reliance, and enhanced self-esteem. While traditional therapies tend to treat illness, recreation therapy can help to develop and maintain good health. In contrast to regimented exercise program, recreation therapy focuses on activities that address a person`s physical and emotional needs. For those with chronic conditions this is especially important, since physical abilities may change.
Persons with physical and mental disabilities often have difficulty with traditional rehabilitative therapies, so recreational therapy is a creative alternative. Through arts and crafts, sports and games, dance and other types of physical activity, a recreational therapist helps these persons learn skills that improve their physical stamina and emotional well-being in recreational therapy colleges and institutions.

Services delivered by Trained Professionals –

Recreational therapy services are delivered by qualified professionals with training and education in therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy service delivery and professionally certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Courses for certification in this field include physiology, abnormal psychology, medical terminology, patient assessment, activity planning, professional ethics, and the use of assistive devices. Activities are selected to achieve treatment goals, such as muscle strengthening or improved self-confidence, and to provide pleasure and satisfaction. Participants are encouraged to be involved in selecting the activities that bring the most enjoyment!

Recreational therapy services are delivered in a variety of settings depending on the needs of the consumer. Settings in which services are traditionally delivered include freestanding rehabilitation hospitals, rehabilitation units in general hospitals, long-term care, or skilled nursing facilities, substance abuse rehabilitation facilities, home healthcare services, and residential facilities for persons with disabilities.  

Psychological expert Ms. Shaheen Khan states that our job is to devise and implement meaningful leisure activities for those who for one reason or another find it difficult to get actively involved in recreational pursuits. Therapists and Consultants work in nursing homes, day care centers, respite care facilities, schools, and hospitals and at the homes of individual clients. Our clients are children, adults and seniors. They may have some form of handicap or be frail from illnesses and/or age.

She further added that in acute health care settings, such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers, recreational therapists treat and rehabilitate individuals with specific health conditions, usually in conjunction or collaboration with physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists. In long-term and residential care facilities, recreational therapists use leisure activities—especially structured group programs—to improve and maintain their clients’ general health and well-being. They also may provide interventions to prevent the client from suffering further medical problems and complications.

Recreational therapists

Recreational therapists are certified professionals who work with doctors and rehabilitation specialists to assess a person`s abilities and design a plan of activities. Recreational therapists, also referred to as therapeutic recreation specialists, provide treatment services and recreation activities for individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists improve and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment.

Recreational therapists offer individuals with disabilities the opportunity to resume normal life activities and to establish/re-establish skills for successful social integration. In addition, the therapist will employ treatment modalities which promote physical skill development, enhance feelings of well-being, foster successful experiences, facilitate continued involvement in the rehabilitation process, and establish new life activities for continued growth.

Cost Factor

A common barrier to participate in the recreational therapy is the cost since many people with disabilities live on limited income. However, recreation therapy does not have to be expensive. Some insurance may pay for a consultation with a recreational therapist, who can design a program involving low-cost activities. Local parks and recreation departments may have recreational therapists on staff and are generally within a person`s budget. Inexpensive treatments may include using arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music or community outings. Recreational therapy is a component of comprehensive rehabilitation. Such comprehensive rehabilitation services have proven to be cost-effective.

Recreation Services helping one and all –

Apart from the treatment being provided by therapists and consultants, now-a-days there are a number recreation services providing relaxation, pleasure and adding quality to the lives of the people who are not physically and emotionally disable or ill but still very much exhausted and bugged from the daily routine and hectic lifestyle.

As we all know that India presents a gamut of recreation activities, right from indulging in some exhilarating sports to participating in cultural activities. India offers a wide range of outdoor recreation activities. Trekking and Skiing in the Himalayas, White Water Rafting on the Ganges and Beas, Camel and Jeep safaris in the deserts of Rajasthan, Paragliding in Himachal, Watersports in Goa and Scuba Diving in Lakshwadeep and Andaman are just some of the options available to the people loving outdoor activities. In addition facilities for squash, table tennis, snooker, bowling alleys, golf, swimming and workouts are also easily available for the indoor recreation lovers. Organized activities in clubs and recreational centres may also include Aerobics, Bowling, Billiards, Golf, Aquatics (a work out in the pool),        Karate          and    Taekwondo.

Aparna Shekhawat

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