Recreational Therapy Month: Recognizing
the value of therapeutic recreational programs
Recreational therapy uses activities – such as music and
dance classes and arts and crafts – to help stimulate and improve the overall
health and well-being of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling
In honor of Recreational
Therapy Month, which is recognized each February, Devereux Advanced
Behavioral Health wants to raise awareness of the positive impact recreational
programs and services also can have for individuals living with
emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.
recreational therapy program is a critical factor when it comes to helping the
children, adolescents and adults we serve to lead healthier and more fulfilling
lives,” said Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Rhea Fernandes. “By participating in recreational activities on a
regular basis, our individuals achieve improved socialization and proficiencies
in essential life skills, as well as a higher level of physical fitness and
sense of self-worth and efficacy. The benefits are truly endless.”
Devereux’s recreational programs enrich
to the American
Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), therapeutic recreation
specialists – also known as recreational therapists – plan, direct, deliver and
evaluate recreation-based interventions for individuals in need of services and
At Devereux’s campuses across the county, we offer a wide variety
of recreational opportunities and activities for both youth and adults
leagues and groups
“These activities help our individuals overcome limitations
that might previously have acted as barriers, providing them with an
opportunity to learn new skills for maintaining a productive and healthy
lifestyle – while having fun,” said Saree
Lough, recreation and activities manager – Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult
Services. “At our Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult Services campus, bingo is our
most popular activity by far, with approximately 120 participants every week.
Bingo is a fun game, but it also helps our individuals improve their eye-hand
coordination, concentration and fine motor skills, and gives them a sense of
self-worth when they present their winning boards.”
Benefits of leisure and recreational
Recreational therapy isn’t just about fun and games; it offers
physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits including:
mobility, flexibility and range of motion;
physical endurance, coordination, agility and balance;
to find and build relationships;
connections with family and the community;
and stress reduction;
mental alertness and attention span; and
“It is amazing to see how much the individuals in our care
are able to grow and thrive by participating in activities such as talent
shows, holiday dances and jewelry-making classes,” said Lough. “These
activities allow our individuals to learn new skills and express their
emotions, while empowering them to manage stress and move forward in life in a
safe and healthy way.”
To learn more about
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.
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