Therapeutic recreational activities

Through various individualized therapeutic recreational activities, recreation therapist work to help the seniors reduce stress and anxiety, depression, build confidence and recover basic motor skills (Nagata, McCormick, & Austin, 2020).

Reduce depression: therapeutic recreational activities are recommended in the treatment of depression. Activities like walking, dancing and yoga can prevent or reduce depressive symptoms in the elderly.

Stress and anxiety: Therapeutic recreation elevates the senior’s emotional health and mood by eliminating anxiety and distress. Therapeutic recreational activities gives seniors positive ways to handle their current conditions and financial stressors. Listening to music, for example, reduces distress thereby helping the elderly feel relaxed and calm.

Recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities: Therapeutic recreation activities help keep the mind fit. Customized recreational activities can help keep the brain stimulated, improve alertness, and improve problem-solving skills. Furthermore, participation in therapeutic recreational activities can help the seniors remain physically fit and improve joint flexibility, mobility and balance (Lee et al., 2014). Activities like chair volleyball and painting can hasten recovery, improve fine motor and hand-eye coordination, helping the elderly to regain some of their independence.

Build confidence:

Therapeutic recreation provides the opportunity for enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment. It also improves self-esteem. By so doing, therapeutic recreation like coloring, craft and arts can help promote self-confidence in the seniors.

Socialize effectively: therapeutic recreation provide many social benefits. By doing activities with therapists and caregiver, the elderly receive companionship care. Participation in group-related activities makes the elderly feel part of the family and community, and bolster their social skills (Nagata, McCormick, & Austin, 2020). These activities also help them build relationships and interact with others.


Lee, J. et al. (2014). A Health Recreation Program for u-Healthcare Clients: Effects on Mental Health. Telemedicine Journal & E-Health, 20(10): 930–935.

Nagata, S., McCormick, B., & Austin, D. (2020).  Physical activity as treatment for depression in recreation therapy: transitioning from research to practice. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 54(1), 77-91

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