LEC emphasizes the importance of Therapeutic Recreation Awareness Month

‘During the pandemic, we have come to realize how important recreation therapy is in the world of life enrichment, and we at Streamway Villa wanted to acknowledge this skill set’

As Laurie Kracht will tell you, she is “passionate” about her career in life enrichment.

And since the COVID-19 pandemic began 23 months ago, life enrichment teams in long-term care homes have been at the forefront when it comes to maintaining a high quality of life for residents, says Laurie, the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Streamway Villa in Cobourg.

This is why she is raising awareness of February being Therapeutic Recreation Awareness Month in Canada.

“Utilizing recreation therapy in long-term care is very important as it ensures residents live a full life through enhancing and engaging the five domains (of wellness): spiritual, cognitive, emotional, physical and social,” Laurie tells The OMNIway.

“This is done through assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. During the pandemic, we have come to realize how important recreation therapy is in the world of life enrichment, and we at Streamway Villa wanted to acknowledge this skill set.”

Laurie underscores the important role life enrichment teams have played in the lives of long-term-care home residents since the pandemic began, noting the pandemic has meant life enrichment teams have had to change the way they do their work and also add new duties to their daily routine.

“We have not only continued to program in a different capacity than we were used to, but we have also been handling all the family visits and relationships,” Laurie says.

“With this being Therapeutic Recreation Awareness Month, I believe we need to reflect on how important the LECs and LEAs (have been) during the pandemic.”

Therapeutic Recreation Ontario, the organization that leads the awareness campaign in Ontario every February, explains the importance of therapeutic recreation on its website.

“The purpose of Recreation Therapy is to enable all individuals to achieve quality of life and optimal health through meaningful experiences in recreation and leisure,” the website states.

“We believe in the inherent capacities of individuals for personal growth, happiness and freedom.”

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