For many aging adults, a compassionate approach to therapy is necessary in tandem with more clinical treatments. About one in three seniors has Alzheimer’s or dementia by the end of their life, so this population presents a unique set of cognitive challenges. For many older adults looking to boost their mental and physical health, treatments like art therapy and music therapy can be highly effective. Recreational therapy is also on the rise for people of all ages. The following are just some of the reasons that it can be an effective option for older adults.
- Improves motor skills.: This type of therapy incorporates a variety of exercises to fine tune both fine and gross motor skills. By engaging in this therapy and keeping their bodies strong, older adults can improve independence and commit to a more active lifestyle overall.
- Sharpens mental alertness.: With the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s important to senior to consistently keep their minds active. Recreational therapy provides critical infrastructure for this, boosting memory and mental clarity.
- Eases mental illness.: Feelings of isolation and health decline can lead to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. By working directly with a therapist, seniors can work through the effects of these conditions and find specific coping mechanisms through play and activities.
- Encourages Socialization: This type of therapy can also happen in a group setting. This way, seniors can make friends and find others to empathize with. These friends can take their quality of life to a whole new level, boosting general satisfaction and happiness.
- Maintains Physical Health: By staying active and moving their muscles, seniors can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions. While this therapy does not replace the advice and treatment of a medical doctor, it can be effective in getting their bodies moving and blood pumping.
If you or a loved one thinks recreational therapy could improve your health and quality of life, be sure to talk to your doctor about how to get involved. They may have a recommendation for a specific clinic, as not every center is created equal. Be patient and focus on the benefits. Whether after a hospital stay or as a health care supplement, this extra step will be worth it for your mental and physical health.