Recreational Therapy after Stroke

Recreational Therapy after Stroke

Everyone needs some fun in their life, and that’s exactly what recreational therapy is all about! Not only can it help bring a little joy into your life, but it can also help facilitate your recovery. Here’s how recreational therapy can play a vital role in your rehabilitation.

The Different Types of Rehabilitation Therapy

Your stroke rehabilitation program can include some or all of these types of therapy: physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapy. Here’s a mini-breakdown of what each of these is about:

  • Physical therapy focuses on your muscles
  • Occupational therapy focuses on everyday tasks
  • Speech therapy focuses on spoken words
  • Recreational therapy focuses on… what, exactly?

What Is Recreational Therapy

When we say ‘recreation,’ you might think of activities like volleyball or basketball, but recreational therapy encompasses much more than active sports. At its core, recreational therapy uses leisure activities to help you regain independence and promote physical and mental wellness. These activities could be volleyball, fishing, or even going to the movies. It all depends on what you enjoy and what activities you consider to add quality to your life.

Importance for Stroke Survivors

For stroke survivors, recreational therapy can be a critical component to your rehabilitation regimen, especially if you’re struggling with feelings of hopelessness, depression, and disinterest in your old hobbies. Recreational therapy helps boost your morale and sense of freedom while also counteracting negative feelings that often occur after stroke.

Types of Recreation

Sometimes old hobbies are out of the question – but that’s okay! Think of it this way: Your recovery is an opportunity for you to explore and discover new hobbies; ones that you might love even more! Here’s a list of some leisure activities that you can talk with your recreational therapist about doing:

Let’s Play!

Recreational therapy is all about relearning how to play! As recreational therapist Bill Mramor said during an interview, “If you chose to play, you choose to live another day and enjoy that day.” What was your favorite thing to do before? Was it swimming? Going to the park? Whatever your favorite activities were, a recreational therapist can help you get back to that place in one way or another.

What recreational activities do you want to be able to do again? Leave us a comment below sharing your aspirations with our community.

  • disqus_xCETf7ZLk0

    Singing, sewing, dancing, skipping, and talking. I either can’t physically do some things (partly because I have a damaged pelvis, which hasn’t been diagnosed/treated yet), and partly because pleasure/enthusiasm seems elusive.

    • Flint Rehab

      Hey reader, I’m very very sorry about your pelvis. Maybe it’s time for an unconventional approach… I know that dance movement therapy in water has provided many stroke survivors with blissful relief and freedom of movement. Although it’s temporary, it sure is amazing. (I’ve done it myself before.) We wrote more about it here: https://www.flintrehab.com/2016/the-fun-meaningful-part-of-life-after-a-stroke/

  • Peace Sunshine

    Hello. I am majoring in Therapeutic Recreation. I am currently working on a research paper dealing with therapeutic recreation intervention strategies for patients who have suffered from a stroke.

    What are specific TR interventions commonly used for this impairment, their purpose and health/safety precautions when providing TR programming?

    • Flint Rehab

      Hey Peace, we shared the basics of recreational therapy in the hopes that it will encourage stroke survivors to explore the idea of recreational therapy for stroke recovery. We are not experts on the topic. Good luck on the paper!