Benefits of Recreational Therapy for Your Elder Family Members

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Annie usually visited her parents on weekends. She used to believe that her parents had a great social life with their neighbors and other friends when she was not there on weekdays. However, she learned that her parents had been home all day and had nothing planned during the week. The biggest problem was their reluctance to acknowledge they were bored since they didn’t want to bother her.

Have you had a similar experience with your parents?

Read on to learn more about the benefits of recreational therapy to help you decide which recreational activities may be a good fit for your parents.

RELATED: 8 Memory Board Games Perfect For Your Beloved Family Members 


How Can Recreational Therapy Benefit Our Senior Citizens?

Why Should Your Elder Family Members Choose Recreational Therapy?

Recreational Therapy Enhances Their Physical Health.

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Some forms of exercise help lower the likelihood of developing health issues like brittle bones, imbalance, and muscle soreness. Stretching, for instance, enables muscles to lengthen and function properly, lowering muscular tension and promoting muscular relaxation. For seniors who need to increase their muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility, chair yoga is highly advised.


Recreational Therapy Improves Their Mental Wellness.

According to a study, engaging in physical activities can benefit the mental health of our senior family members. Recreational activities assist in reducing anxiety and depression, plus increasing self-esteem and cognitive function. Additionally, endorphins released during exercise act as a stress reliever, making your parents happier.


Recreational Therapy Strengthens Social Connection.

Strong social contacts are essential for seniors to prevent feelings of isolation and sadness. Research shows that people in their golden age who actively participate in recreational activities are more likely to form emotional bonds with others who share the same interests.

Surprisingly, maintaining a social life provides numerous advantages for both mental and physical health. Seniors who participate in recreational activities have a propensity to live longer and find meaning in their lives.


What Types of Activities Are Considered Recreational Therapy?

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According to The American Therapeutic Recreation Association, this therapy is a systematic procedure incorporating leisure time activities to meet the identified needs of people with disabilities or sickness. Simply said, this therapy encourages patients to engage in recreational activities to reduce depression, enhance cognitive function, and improve social connection.

Below are some enjoyable recreational therapy activities that can improve the health and well-being of senior citizens in various ways:



Listening to music is one of the simplest methods to relieve stress.

Not only does music make people feel better, but it also stimulates the mind and energizes the body in different ways. By serving as a reminder of experiences, music has a healing power to help uplift moods and recall memories from the past.

A study showed that musical therapy assists people in having better emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being. In addition, music therapy can provide other tremendous advantages for seniors, including improving language and speech skills, enhancing sleep quality, boosting creativity, and reducing physical pain.



Many brain games are designed to improve memory, spark creativity, and reinforce interaction between family members. Such brain teasers provide the elderly with an excellent mental workout while enhancing their capacity to create and maintain associations in their minds.

Another benefit of playing games is stress relief and enjoyment. Playing games triggers the release of endorphins, enhancing both conscious and unconscious mental processes. This approach makes your parents more compassionate and ultimately fulfilled.



Art therapy benefits the overall mental health and well-being of elders. They’re less likely to experience depression or anxiety by pursuing a creative endeavor. Through painting, drawing, and coloring, seniors would feel occupied and fulfilled.

Moreover, this activity also benefits your parents’ physical health. For example, painting improves their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.


Animal Therapy

Having a pet friend can positively impact your parents’ health. Animals provide emotional, physical, and mental advantages to people of all ages, especially senior citizens, who are more likely to experience loneliness and isolation.



For seniors actively involved in gardening, this leisure activity offers possibilities for regular physical exercise, which helps prevent various diseases, such as osteoporosis, depression, and heart disease.

Developing relationships with other gardeners helps people obtain social support and positively reinforces social engagement, which is a crucial defense against loneliness and isolation.


Cooking and Baking

According to research, cooking treatments can help improve the dietary status, weight-related outcomes, and culinary skills in people with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and possibly cancer.

Cooking and baking take time and require your seniors to focus on repetitive motions, which can be very meditative. Another benefit of baking is the freedom to express yourself. Whether decorating cakes or arranging meals on plates – your elderly family members can bring color and fun to their cooking and show their creativity.


Recreational Therapy at 12 Oaks

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Aging is associated with many threats to the well-being of our senior citizens, including physical and mental health. Engaging in recreational activities is thought to be a beneficial method for improving the happiness and life satisfaction of our elderly family members.

12 Oaks managed Senior Communities uses the practical, holistic techniques of recreational therapy in accommodating a variety of leisure activities that may be customized to account for differences in interests, lifestyles, and mobility needs. Our senior living specialists can assess your seniors’ health to provide the most excellent care and create a customized daily training program for them. In addition, our team goes to great lengths to create a family-like environment where your parents can feel at ease and content.


If you have questions about recreational therapy or anything discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 



Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.



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