Hope through Rehabilitation & Research
Recreation therapists at Burke utilize a wide range of interventions to help patients make improvements in the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure areas of their lives. They assist patients to develop skills, knowledge and behaviors for daily living and community involvement. Recreation therapists work with the patient to incorporate specific interests into therapy to achieve optimal outcomes that transfer to real life situations. Research supports the concept that people with satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier.
At Burke, recreation therapy interventions for physician-referred patients include individualized therapy sessions, as well as treatment in small group settings, sometimes in conjunction with physical and occupational therapists or speech-language pathologists. All of Burke’s therapeutic recreation staff members are credentialed certified therapeutic recreation specialists. In addition, one is a complementary therapist and another is a registered yoga instructor.
In relaxation therapy sessions, patients learn stress management techniques that help prevent or alleviate emotional symptoms which may occur with illness or injury. Techniques include guided imagery, progressive relaxation, breathing techniques, and various types of meditation. Practicing these relaxation techniques may result in a strengthened immune system, improved physical performance, reduced pain, improved sleep, and improved quality of life.
Get Ahead Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
This intervention addresses cognition, orientation, memory, social interaction skills, and communication. Designed primarily for patients who have experienced stroke or brain injury, this therapy helps patients make practical improvements and gain confidence.
Humor Therapy (HIGH)*
HIGH (HumorIsGood forHealth) therapy uses the power of laughter, humor, and positive attitude to bring about physical and emotional benefits. Negative emotions can have a detrimental effect on the physical and emotional quality of life, and can negatively impact a the full benefit of a physical rehabilitation program. Humor therapy sessions help patients build habits of positive outlook and positive behavior.
*New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association Innovative Program of the Year (2000)
Complementary Therapy and Adaptive Yoga
A variety of gentle interventions are used to enhance and encourage the body’s ability to reduce pain, heal, and relax. Modalities offered include acupressure, biosonic repatterning, polarity, reflexology, visualization, and body work. Additional benefits include reduced anxiety, a greater sense of well-being, and a better balance of life energy.
Adaptive yoga follows the same principles as traditional yoga but provides the participant props and modifications to achieve poses. Respect and positive support help the patient learn to listen to the body and find a balance of mind, body and spirit. Benefits may include increased trunk control, increased oxygen intake, better postural awareness, improved circulation and blood pressure, improved flexibility, decreased spasticity, improved digestion, decreased pain, decreased fatigue, improved mood, reduced stress, and greater self-confidence.
Intergenerational Group (CARE)
The intergenerational program was developed in conjunction with the Montessori Children’s Center on Burke’s campus. CARE provides opportunities for patients with physical disabilities to be involved in recreational activities with participating children.
One-to-one and group activities include story time, music, crafts, games, art, and horticulture. In addition to enhancing positive feelings, self-esteem and body image, adults and children have the opportunity to build relationships and foster socialization skills.
General Recreation Programs
Though not therapy, Burke offers general recreation programswhich may be therapeutic. Entertainment, social programs, horticulture activities, music, games, crafts, and a variety of other activities are available during the late afternoon, evenings, and weekends. Family and friends are invited to participate with the patient.