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Why the Elderly Need Recreational Therapy

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Recreational therapy, or therapeutic recreation, is a recreation-based treatment program designed to help seniors reduce the effects of illness or disability. You can help enhance your loved one’s quality of life with recreational therapy activities. Oakville in-home senior care experts discuss the reasons your loved one should give recreational therapy a try. 

1. Physical Benefits 

While going through recreational therapy, your loved one can complete a variety of physical activities he or she can do alone or with others. These activities will typically involve light exercises. Other examples of recreational therapy include swimming, chair exercises, and going for walks. Recreational activities can enhance your loved one’s mobility, agility, balance, and joint flexibility, among other health benefits. By building muscle strength, your loved one can potentially prevent slips and falls. 

2. Emotional Benefits 

Recreational therapy helps your loved one engage in a meaningful activity that generates positive feelings, which can help reduce stress. Painting, playing musical instruments, and playing trivia games are some therapeutic recreation activities that can give your loved one a sense of purpose and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Having a sense of purpose can help your loved one age gracefully and possibly live longer. 

3. Cognitive Benefits 

Almost all recreational activities require seniors to use their thinking skills. Your loved one may need to learn new things while retaining old information. This type of mental stimulation can keep your loved one’s brain active and functioning. Recreational activities can help prevent cognitive decline and enhance your elderly loved one’s sensory awareness, memory, attention span, and decision-making abilities. 

4. Social Benefits 

Recreational therapy is a great way for your loved one to interact with others through a variety of activities. He or she may be able to build connections with family or members of the community, which can help him or her develop or maintain good social skills. By participating in recreational activities, your loved one can prevent depression and loneliness, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and other health conditions. The social skills he or she develops from recreational therapy can also boost his or her self-esteem.

Being involved in some form of recreational therapy is important for seniors who want to stay active. However, if your loved one has a condition that limits his or her ability to get involved in recreational therapy and you feel he or she needs support to perform certain activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in and part-time care. Oakville families can call a Care Manager at (905) 337-1200 to learn more about how a professional caregiver can assist their loved one with daily living tasks and outdoor activities in the local community. Call a Care Manager to learn about our flexible care plans.