What Is Recreational Therapy?
According to the ATRA or the American Therapeutic Association, the definition of recreational therapy is a process encompassing recreation and activities to help people with a disability or illness. This therapy offers physical and psychological health benefits to help improve general health. It simply means patients feel better because they enjoy recreational activities. At our home healthcare in Yorba Linda, we have found recreational therapy improves social interaction, cognitive skills and decreases depression.
At Home Care Providers, we use recreational therapy as a practical approach effective in community and home settings and nursing facilities. Our homecare agency in Yorba Linda offers recreational therapy to encourage a lot of different activities. We often make changes to these activities to accommodate different mobility needs, lifestyles, and interests to ensure as many people as possible can benefit. There are many kinds of exercises using other techniques.
If you are interested in searching for “skilled care near me,” consider the specific activities offered to ensure that you receive as many benefits as possible. Some of our most popular activities include animals, arts and crafts, sports, drama, community outings, sports, dance and movement, games, and drama. Home care services Yorba Linda provides recreational therapists to help patients enjoy therapeutic activities like swimming. Our therapists plan, coordinate and direct our recreational treatment programs for individuals with illnesses, injuries, and disabilities.
Our therapists match your interests to the activities. Many of these are effective for recreational therapy and offer benefits in a wide variety of different settings, including:
- Assisted living facilities
- Substance use programs
- Correctional facilities
- Sports programs
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Outpatient and inpatient facilities for mental health
- Community centers
International Recreational Therapy Month is an important event at our home healthcare in Yorba Linda, and we celebrate every February. The benefits of our program help with social isolation and too much time spent indoors, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enjoy all of these benefits in the safety and comfort of your home. At Home Care Providers, we believe learning about these activities is essential, so we have listed some of the most popular activities for older adults below.
Our home healthcare in Yorba Linda understands that every senior reaches a point in their lives where they feel lonely or have difficulty establishing bonds with others. In this instance, we have found animal therapy is beneficial. There are many reasons why animals, including cats and dogs, have been welcomed into homes for centuries. When you develop a bond with an animal, there are so many rewards. Simply spending time with a tiny furball can decrease both stress and depression.
When you look for “skilled care near me,” ask about nature therapy. This activity includes enjoying a walk in nature like in a park with our therapist. Once nature surrounds you, the interaction will help increase your self-awareness while decreasing stress levels.
Our homecare agency in Yorba Linda offers video games as an easy way to unwind. In addition to being a lot of fun, these games provide social interaction while helping to improve your focus. Older adults enjoy a gaming system with interactive remote control. One of the most popular is the Nintendo Wii. This type of system encourages movement. Thousands of games are available for numerous methods and offer older adults a therapeutic activity they can even enjoy while at home.
One of our favorite activities for older adults is brain teasers because they are enjoyable and challenge your mind. Brain teasers include logic puzzles, riddles, and crossword puzzles. Older adults at our home healthcare in Yorba Linda enjoying these brain games help decrease cognitive decline often occurring due to age. These games also help with other skills, including spatial and visual processing, memory, and attention.
Spending time outside is a beautiful way to enjoy a few hours with your loved ones. When you are outdoors, you can enjoy different scenery, exercise, and fresh air. You may be surprised to learn you also receive mental stimulation. If you enjoy wildlife and nature, there are many options, including:
- Garden with your loved ones
- Watch birds in a natural area or at a park
- Take a boat ride
- Visit a botanical garden
- Feed ducks in a pond
- Enjoy a picnic
Listen To Music
One of the most enjoyable ways to decrease stress is to listen to music. Music reminds older adults of experiences they enjoyed in the past to enhance memory recall. There are different kinds of formal music therapy, including a virtual get-together to talk about music. As a part of our home care services in Yorba Linda, we understand the benefits of incorporating music as a recreational activity.
Unfortunately, most older adults do not receive enough exercise due to physical issues and pain. You do not have to run a marathon to be physically active. Even taking a walk is beneficial. There are a lot of low-impact exercises you can most likely enjoy, including:
- Strength training using water bottles or light dumbbells
- Sports including fishing and golf
- Taking community classes including water aerobics and chair yoga
When you exercise, you receive many different types of benefits, including increasing your energy level, decreasing your risk of depression, and helping you sleep better at night.
Older adults usually receive great benefits from art therapy because it enables them to express themselves creatively. Our home healthcare in Yorba Linda brings everyone together by establishing a regular schedule for artistic activities, including singing, drawing, painting, and sculpting. The options for art therapy activities are almost limitless. You can explore all of your different options to figure out what you enjoy the most.
Horticulture therapy is similar to nature therapy because interacting with nature decreases stress. This type of therapy is also beneficial for strengthening your muscles and improving coordination due to the motions necessary to handle plants. You receive memory and cognitive benefits when you learn about plants. Working with others provides socialization both enjoyable and beneficial.
Baking And Cooking
You most likely consider cooking as an essential of life. You may not realize cooking is also a type of recreational therapy. Not only do older adults remain active while baking or cooking, but all five of their senses are engaged. As time passes, everyone has unique preferences and tastes. Sharing what you have learned with others is both satisfying and enjoyable.
Even when you are at a distance, you remain socially engaged. Exchange recipes and share your all-time favorite recipes and family specialties. You can learn new skills with a virtual cooking workshop while having a lot of fun.
Even though there are many activities you can enjoy at home, there are so many things you can do outdoors. Taking a hike will increase your energy levels and improve your balance and strength. Spending time in nature is an enriching experience with many health benefits. Go on a biking adventure, enjoy a refreshing swim or go camping with your family.
No matter where you live, there are outdoor activities available for older adults and create a safe living environment at the sametime. Sometimes there is nothing quite like taking a breath of fresh, clean air to bring the body and senses to life.
International Recreational Therapy Month
Even though this occurs in February does not mean you cannot enjoy recreational activities throughout the year. These are so much more than hobbies because they are among the ideal types of therapy available for disabled and older adults. The idea is to enhance physical movements, develop cognitive and social skills, and create beautiful and meaningful memories and experiences.
With our home care services in Yorba Linda, we believe recreational activities are even more critical during the pandemic since social engagement has become limited. We can modify numerous activities to encompass virtual participation. There is no better time than now to find “skilled care near me” and start reaping the benefits of exciting recreational activities.
Health Benefits Of Recreational Activities
There is a wide range of benefits for mental and physical health associated with recreational therapy. When therapy is personalized for individual needs and interests, the advantages multiply. Many of these benefits are backed by science, including all of the following:
Improving Physical Fitness And Strength
Recreational therapy often includes different types of movement. Some good examples are exercise, dance, tai chi, games, and yoga. A study conducted in 2014 shows recreational training can improve flexibility, physical strength, and balance. According to research, recreational activities can also improve muscle strength, agility, social communication, and speed for older adults. The best part is not only are these types of activities fun, but they also offer distinct advantages.
Improving Depression Symptoms
Our home healthcare in Yorba Linda offers programs for therapeutic recreation to help seniors stimulate their minds and encourages movement through participation in creative activities. When physical activity is a part of recreational therapy, the result is often fewer depression symptoms. Many activities can reduce depression, including dance, drama, art, and music. According to research, this improvement may be connected to endorphins.
The brain releases these chemicals when you participate in physical movements, making you feel good. Some of the best activities are social interactions and anything involving creativity.
Improving Social Connections
If you have a disability or are suffering from an injury or illness, there is a good chance your social interactions have been limited. Recreational therapy offers you the opportunity to interact with others positively and decrease the feeling of isolation. A study was conducted with the participants diagnosed with early dementia. All of the participants enjoyed recreational therapy together. They said they felt more accepted and uplifted after these activities and formed social connections, which has been linked to improved overall health.
Recreational therapy can improve both self-esteem and confidence. A 2018 study involved older adults encouraged to choose leisure activities according to their interests. The program was structured with the participants enjoying the activities they selected every week, including simple exercises for the upper body. The participants experienced better self-esteem than before the program. Those not offered the option of choosing their activities did not have the same benefits with very little change in self-esteem.
Many adults experience difficulties with routine tasks after an injury, such as exercising, taking good care of their homes, playing with grandchildren, or spending time with their children. After an injury, these simple pleasures often become impossible. The combination of recreational activities and therapeutic recreation for individuals with damage to their spinal cord helps recover functional independence faster than those not receiving therapy.
It is one of many reasons our professional caregivers at Home Care Providers offer recreational therapy. Studies have shown older adults suffering from an injury with access to recreational therapy are more socially active, suffer from pressure ulcers less often, and demonstrate a general improvement in overall health.
Enhancing Cognitive Abilities
According to recent research, older adults improve the function of their brain with a combination of games and social engagement, including memory challenges, chess, and bridge. Research has suggested healthy brain function can be improved and maintained with social activities and relationships, physical activity, and recreational therapy. These types of activities are essential for the mental and physical health of older adults. It is the reason our home healthcare in Yorba Linda promotes all of these activities.
The Bottom Line
Recreational activities are essential for all older adults, especially those with disabilities or suffering from an injury or illness. At our homecare agency in Yorba Linda, we offer dance, exercise, different types of games, art, creative writing, and more. As these activities often improve memory, self-confidence, reasoning, physical fitness, and mood, there are also many health benefits associated with mental engagement, social interaction, physical movement, and creativity.
Once you understand the power of recreational activities, the benefits for your loved one become crystal clear. The best part is older adults enjoy themselves and have a lot of fun. You can also contact Home Care Providers to learn about talking to your loved one about needing home healthcare in Yorba Linda. Contact Home Care Providers today to ensure your loved one can take advantage of the benefits of recreational activities.