Patients at Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) are playing golf, riding bikes, and brushing up on other recreational skills. NRH has teamed up with Northeast Passage to offer their patients a unique adaptive recreational experience.
As part of their inpatient therapy program, patients are assessed for their leisure interests and hobbies. Appropriate patients are given the opportunity to participate in a monthly adaptive recreation session where they are introduced to specially modified equipment that allows them to once again partake in their sport of choice. Northeast Passage has equipment for over 20 different activities ranging from fishing to basketball to skiing. Each session is individually tailored to a small group of patients who share similar interest. The patients, with the help of their therapists, are able to actually try out the equipment during the session. At the conclusion of the session, the patients are given further resources for pursuing their recreational interests once they are discharged from NRH. Perhaps more importantly, the patients gain insight into what recreational opportunities are out there, regardless of their physical limitations.
Recent research has shown that participation in recreational activities has numerous benefits for individuals with disabilities, including an increase in self-determination, the development of friendships, an improvement in physical functioning, enhanced perceptions of social acceptance and the development of socially-appropriate behaviors.(1)
Northeast Passage, founded in 1990, is a nationally recognized leader in the provision of innovative therapeutic recreation services. Northeast Passage delivers disability-related health promotion and adapted sports programs throughtout New England. Northeast Passage is a program of the University of New Hampshire and is an affiliate of Disabled Sports USA.
1. Devine MA, Koch LC. Recreational planning: an important component of career counseling for people with disabilities. Work 2003;21(1):83-8