Leisure is an important component of both quality of life and well-being. It allows individuals opportunities for self-determination and utilization of strengths while engaging in meaningful leisure, which is the foundation of Therapeutic Recreation services. Therapeutic Recreation is defined as “the purposeful and careful facilitation of quality leisure experiences and the development of personal and environmental strengths, which lead to greater well-being for people who, due to illness, disability or other life circumstances, need individualized assistance in achieving their goals and dreams” (Anderson and Heyne, 2012, p.40).
Leisure is an important aspect and right for all clients at Baycrest regardless of ability. Therapeutic Recreation services are offered across the organization and can also be accessed by clients within their different areas. Therapeutic Recreation staff utilize a strengths-based approach to provide opportunities for meaningful engagement using best practices in order to design, develop, implement and evaluate programs to meet client needs.
The following Pillars of Care guide our practice:
- Positive Emotion
- Social and Community Engagement
- Meaningful Active Engagement
- Holistic Strengths Based Approach
- Self- Development
Below are some examples of programs offered through Therapeutic Recreation Services:
- Lifelong Learning (Baycrest Learning Academy, E-learning, Technology, Lecture series)
- Creative Expression (photography, art-based, poetry, storytelling, gardening, music)
- Expressive Movement
- Brain Fitness
- Sensory Stimulation
- Coping Strategies – Stress Management/ Pain Management
- Leisure Education (Community Re-integration/Outings/Adaptive Equipment, Activity modification, skill development, discharge planning)
- Pet Therapy
- Social Connections/Support Groups
Anderson, L., & Heyne, L. (2012). Therapeutic recreation practice: A strengths approach. State College, PA: Venture Publishing Inc.