Therapeutic Recreation Enhances the Lives of Injured Workers
Humans are creatures of habits in all that we do. We wake up, go to work, go home, and go about our daily activities without batting an eye. Unfortunately, when workers are injured, a wrench gets thrown into that daily routine and their world is turned upside down. They went to work one day to not return home for weeks and sometimes even months. When that kind of curve ball gets thrown their way, we must find a way to help them cope while still striving to help our patients make progress towards their goals. Recreation Therapy is a perfect outlet for our workers’ compensation patients to connect with their pre-injury routine and find a bit of joy throughout their rehabilitation journey. Santé’s Workers’ Compensation Program goes above and beyond in providing opportunities for our injured patients to not only thrive in traditional therapies but in therapeutic activities as well.
Santé’s Recreation Therapist works with each of our injured patients to identify activities of interest, current limitations, and adapts them to their individual needs. The idea is that the more we can increase our patients’ participation in therapeutic activities of interest outside of their scheduled care the more we can do to help our patients stay positive, build their tolerance, and increase their mobility while having a bit of fun. For example, a patient who loves to work with their hands but is currently bed bound due to their injury may be provided with a model car kit and the like to build up their sitting tolerance in bed to help them maintain a positive outlook until we can get them up and moving. In addition to onsite leisure skill building opportunities, Santé’s Recreation Therapy Program offers opportunities for patients to transfer their skills into the community through Community Reintegration. Injured workers have the opportunity to put their skills to the test maneuvering busy community environments and learn tips and tricks to help them feel more confident transitioning back into their communities post discharge. Santé’s workers comp patients have enjoyed outings to a variety of settings including local restaurants, grocery stores, the zoo, park, and more. Studies have shown that patients who regularly participate in community activities have a decreased likelihood to develop secondary conditions once they have returned home. Santé’s Recreation Therapy Program for our injured patients strives to provide person centered care, tailored to each patient’s goals and interests to maximize their health and well-being throughout their stay.
By Savannah Kafer, CTRS