Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Today was a Good Day

I have been asked questions lately that made me realize I should clarify what it is that I am training to do!

Therapeutic Recreation, according to the US National Therapeutic Recreation Society, is

"Practiced in clinical, residential, and community settings, the profession of Therapeutic Recreation uses treatment, education, and recreation services to help people with illnesses, disabilities, and other conditions to develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance their health, independence, and well-being."

The idea is to assist with activities, other than basic living skills (ADL'S), that promote some one's well being and that includes ones physical, cognitive, or emotional health.
We are to help with socialization, physical activities, creative expression and to support peoples spiritual needs and so much more.
Some people work with special needs kids, some people work with veterans,  adults with intellectual or physical challenges, and even prison populations sometimes have a Recreation Therapist.
I am learning to work specifically with Older Adults. I might work in a personal care home, hospital or a place for assisted living / independent living or maybe a charity or support organization in my community.
Today I led a craft with a group of seven elderly women who face a lot of challenges.
We made a nice floral arrangement.
We sat and chatted. I kept guiding the conversation to encourage thinking about spring and encourage cognitive skills.  We reminisced about the first signs of spring from when they were younger. I played some YouTube nature bird songs to encourage sensory recall.
The ladies expressed their creativity when they picked the kinds of greenery they wanted to include and choose where to put bows, butterflies and a little decorative birds. They smiled and were proud of what they made.

I helped push or walk them and their basket to their rooms where they made a decision about where to set their pretty new arrangements.  One lady wanted it put where she would see it every morning when she woke up.

 Next they went into the common room to get some cuddles with a therapy dog.

Today was a good day.


Amy said...

I was in an RT program in college before I decided to go for physical therapy. I think recreational therapy is great.

Linda said...

Thanks for commenting Amy. Nice to know you have a background with Recreational Therapy too. You understand me! If I survive working, and still feel like a sucker for punishment, I think I will aim at a masters degree in an interdisciplinary program we have in gerontology.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm glad your activity was so well-received - better than my idea for Christmas decorations! lol

I think, once your finished all your classes, you'll make a fine RT, especially with your background working with Girl Guide groups of all ages. You'll be GREAT!

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