Since 1984, the second week of July has been designated as National Therapeutic Recreation Week. Therapeutic recreation activities benefit people who are born with disabilities and people who have been seriously hurt in accidents.
What Is Therapeutic Recreation?
Recreational therapy is provided by certified or appropriately trained professionals who are seeking to improve a participant’s physical or emotional health. Activities and interventions may be suggested after an individual assessment, upon advice of a doctor, or upon interest of a qualifying participant or family member.
Some of the specific activities that may be part of a therapeutic recreation plan include:
- Adapted sports.
- Creative arts programs.
- Gardening programs.
- Outings that are designed to reintegrate participants into the community.
- Aquatic therapy.
- Yoga or tai chi.
- Animal assisted therapy.
- Music therapy.
These activities can be provided in the community, in hospitals, in nursing homes, in rehabilitation facilities, or in other places.
Recreational therapists should keep notes on each individual participant that documents the participant’s progress and that, ultimately, includes a discharge plan.
Therapeutic recreation can be helpful after many different types of injuries including brain injuries. After an accident that results in a permanent traumatic brain injury, a person may need to relearn certain skills or learn adaptive skills based on the unique injury that has been suffered. Therapeutic recreational activities can help people with brain injuries with cognitive skills, behavior changes, stress management, and other specific issues.
How to Find Therapeutic Recreation Activities
This year, National Therapeutic Recreation Week will be held July 9–16, 2017. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers about opportunities that might be available to you or to your loved one after a serious accident. If you currently have a lawsuit pending or you are considering filing a case after an accident, then it is also important to document your participation in therapeutic recreational activities and to share them with your attorney who can advise as to whether any related costs may be part of your legal recovery.