Recreational Therapy

Therapeutic recreation uses recreation activities as a tool to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to fully participate in life.

A recreation therapist encourages patients to participate in their leisure activities for:

  • Therapy
    To improve abilities that makes participation in recreation possible
  • Recreation
    To promote health and growth in a rewarding and enjoyable manner
  • Education
    To teach or enhance recreation skills and identify resources that can be used throughout life
  • Community Reintegration
    To show patients they can still participate in the activities they enjoy. They may need to participate in the activity with adaptive equipment or using a different technique. The community reintegration program shows the patient how this can be done by actually taking the patient to the destination and participating in the activity. Patients are taken out in the community to a place they would usually use such as shopping center, restaurant, park, etc. If public transportation is a need for the patient. They are taken on a practice run using the public transportation system that meets their needs. The goal is to builds the patient’s confident in their functional abilities and shows them they can still fully participate in their life activities.

Types of Recreational Activities

The type of recreational activities used for therapy is based off of each individual interest. The patient is encouraged to participate in their life activities as they did prior to their admission to the hospital such as cooking, playing cards, shopping, going out to eat, playing the piano, gardening, golf, bowling etc. Patients are encouraged to participate in the actual activity if possible or encouraged to use the Wii Nintendo game system to help simulate some of these activities. It is a fun way to work on your functional ability, endurance to get back to your prior lifestyle.


Memorial Rehab Services has many different recreational clinics for community members such as fishing, golf, cooking and salon clinics. The goal of each clinic is to get people with a disability back involved in their life interest. Each participate is individually fitted with adaptive equipment and/or educated on different techniques that fit their abilities so they can get back to their life activities independently as possible. Participants are taught participation in life interest does not have to be a part of their past due to a disability.