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Benefits of Recreational Therapy

February 01, 2024

Recreational therapy is designed to promote a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. Recreational therapists help patients to participate in recreational activities they enjoy. This has proven to reduce depression, increase cognitive skills, and improve social interaction. February is International Recreational Therapy Month, and the benefits of recreational activities can also be achieved from the comfort and safety of your own home. Engaging examples such as the activities listed below offer numerous benefits to support the health and well-being of older adults. 


Animal Therapy 

For seniors who feel especially lonely or have trouble bonding with others, animal therapy can be extremely helpful. Developing a relationship with a pet is a universally rewarding experience, and studies have shown that simply spending time with animals can help reduce depression and decrease stress. 


Video Games 

Video games are an easy and interactive way to unwind. Aside from being fun, they also help to improve focus. For older adults, game systems that operate with an interactive remote control, such as the Nintendo Wii, are a good way to include and promote movement. 


Brain Teasers 

Crossword puzzles, riddles, logic puzzles, and other activities that challenge the mind are excellent recreational activities for older adults. Regularly engaging with brain teasers can help reduce the cognitive decline that occurs overtime with age, promoting strong attention, memory, visual and spatial processing, along with other skills. 


Listening to Music 

Listening to music is one of the best ways to reduce stress. For older adults, music can serve as a reminder of past experiences that helps with memory recall. Specific types of formal music therapy are available, but you can still reap the benefits at home by listening to the radio or your favorite album or CD. 


Art Therapy 

Art therapy can be extremely beneficial, and allows for self expression. There are many options for participating in artistic types of recreational therapy classes; and art therapy is also easy to practice right from your own home. 

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