The Intersection of “Fun” and “Beneficial”

Therapeutic Recreation is defined as a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions.  Simply put, recreational therapists help patients to participate in activities that they enjoy and bring them happiness.  These activities have been shown to reduce depression, increase cognition and improve social interactions.

While most recreational therapy is provided in a skilled nursing facility, it can encompass various activities that can be modified for any environment and differences in interests, lifestyles and/or mobility.

Engaging in Recreational Therapy Activities 

These activities focus on supporting your overall health and well-being as an older adult:

  • Animal therapy – Seniors tend to experience loneliness more than their younger counterparts, and animal therapy can be extremely helpful.  Simply spending time with animals can help reduce depression and decrease stress.
  • Art therapy – There are nearly limitless options when it comes to art therapy.  It is extremely beneficial for older adults to be able to express themselves creatively.
  • Music therapy – Listening to music is one of the easiest and best ways to reduce stress.  In the older adult population, it can help with memory recall by reminding them of past positive experiences.
  • Brain games – Regularly engaging with brain games such as crossword puzzles, card games, sudoku and trivia can help reduce cognitive decline and promote memory, attention and processing skills.
  • Outdoor activities – A hike or a short walk outdoors can boost energy levels, improve strength and balance, and decrease depression.

During the winter months, many individuals experience seasonal depression, anxiety and loneliness.  To keep older adults happy and engaged, it is important to build enriching activities into their daily lives.  Hobbies and recreational activities are one of the best forms of therapy for older adults, especially those with disabling conditions.  Recreational therapy promotes social and cognitive skills, physical movement and, most importantly, brings joy.


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Aegis Therapies welcomes all persons in need of its services and does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or source of payment. Interpreter Services are available at no cost. Please visit your local Aegis Therapies location for assistance. Servicios de interpretación están disponibles sin costo. Visite su sucursal local de Aegis Therapies para recibir asistencia. 我们提供免费传译服务。请探访您的本地Aegis Therapies地点以获得协助

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