In Utah, we are fortunate enough to have a Recreational Therapy Resource, Kami Archibald. Kami is a great partner with our therapy teams to find ways to further enhance the lives of our residents. Through this partnership, our facility Rec Therapists are becoming an integral part of the therapy teams. This all started when they asked to be educated about our “therapy world,” productivity and how Rec Therapy can support us.
We started with Recreational Therapists and Therapy Teams coming together to find ways to partner for group treatments. The groups are then scheduled on the activities calendar. By partnering with recreational therapy, it was an easy “in” for our therapy teams to start integrating group treatment into clinical practice. Additionally, it allowed the therapists to screen participants who are not on therapy caseload for any declines or needs for therapy intervention.
It also created a way for our therapy teams to better understand the role of Rec Therapists and how they are critical to the success of our facilities. Once they understood what Rec Therapy was focused on, they quickly realized that the partnership and designing of tailored activities was a perfect functional maintenance program opportunity. This allowed our patients to maintain functional levels after being discharged from therapy and it gave our recreational therapists tools to have successful participation in groups. A specific example was integrating our Abilities Care Approach with Rec Therapy by being advocates of the life story boards during their activities and groups. It allowed the Rec Therapists to have very specific, meaningful information on each resident to enhance the experience.
As Kami conducts facility visits and training with the facility recreational therapists, she includes the therapy teams and shares best practices. Kami also supports MOCK surveys by doing both resident and resident council president interviews to follow up on the “hot topics” and make sure they are being addressed properly. Having this partnership has definitely improved the quality of life for our residents along with creating a greater appreciation of our recreational therapy partners.