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Recreation therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, assists patients in recovering basic motor functioning using a variety of techniques such as arts and crafts, sports, fitness activities, games and community outings. These techniques help to improve patients’ physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning. Recreation therapy is overseen by a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS). These professionals have acquired specialized education, experience and continuing skill development. The CTRS addresses the entire individual, not just the physical.
Recreation therapy generally begins during inpatient rehabilitation and, when necessary, continues through outpatient therapies. Because no two people are alike, each patient is evaluated individually to assess his or her abilities and areas of interests. The CTRS then works with the patient and family to develop a treatment plan. The plan is used to incorporate the patient’s personal interests with improving functional outcomes.
Community assimilation is an important part of recreation therapy. Patients learn skills that offer great independence and build confidence. Patients are taken into the community, accessing public facilities such as restaurants and movie theaters, and pushing wheelchairs up ramps and on sidewalks. These outings reduce the anxiety associated with being out in the community.
For More Information
To learn more about the Recreation Therapy Program at Sharp, please call 858-939-3048 or send us an email. To learn more about Sharp's rehabilitation services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician who can refer you to a physical therapist, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about rehabilitation, visit Rehabilitation in Adult Health or read the Rehabilitation News archive.