Therapeutic Recreation: One of the Fastest Growing Careers in Healthcare

Stenberg College Therapeutic Recreation 0 Comments

There is no better time to study therapeutic recreation. Canada’s aging population needs professionals who understand gerontology, and value the wellbeing of their community’s seniors. Therapeutic recreation focuses on effectively using recreational activities to promote these seniors’ optimal health, in a compassionate, “person-centred” way.

Once you start your program, you will learn the methods, processes, and attitudes necessary to make this important work possible. Therapeutic recreational training is the perfect place to begin a personally and professionally fulfilling career.

therapeutic recreation

Stenberg graduate Christian Deo Roque helps a client enter a recreation therapy space

Read on to learn what Stenberg grads and industry professionals are saying about therapeutic recreation.

What is Therapeutic Recreation Training?

“It’s all about using recreation as a tool for wellness,” says Stenberg instructor Laurie Chiasson, “and as a tool for happiness and quality of life at the end of people’s lives.”

And this recreation is not limited to physical exercise—it includes a variety of activities that promote healthy living for older adults. From arts and crafts to music, gardening, games, social events, outings, and more, therapeutic recreation professionals implement meaningful activities into seniors’ homes, community centres, and care facilities nationwide.

Who Can Succeed in a Therapeutic Recreation Career?

Graduates of therapeutic recreation training courses can come from a wide variety of backgrounds and still find success in this career. All it takes is a compassionate nature and the right training.

If you’re interested in becoming a therapeutic recreation professional, it helps to have a naturally social skill-set—the kind of personable and caring “people skills” that make you a supportive presence in the lives around you. Patience and creativity can also take you far in this career.

therapeutic recreation worker

A therapeutic recreation worker helps a client bring memories to life through painting.

“Talents like music and art are always really beneficial,” says gerontology professional and Stenberg program advisor Leisa Bannerman. “We’re looking for people that have a deep interest in working with seniors—people who like a flexible environment[…]people who are creative, and want to express and share their creativity with their elders.“

Meeting the Demands of a Thriving Gerontology Industry

As Canada’s substantial “Baby Boomer” generation ages, there’s a growing demand for people with therapeutic recreation training, who know how to create effective, engaging programs that support elders’ physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs. For example, modern gerontology training ensures students understand the effects of dementia on future clients, and how to work with people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Bannerman says the demand is “huge,” particularly for those trained to work with seniors in long term and complex care. Students of therapeutic recreation programs train quickly and find gainful employment within a year of their graduation.

“Most of our students are employed weeks after they finish practicum,” says Stenberg instructor Karen Schaefer. “Some are fortunate enough to be hired while on practicum. The need is there and it’s a growing industry.”

Finding Fulfillment By Earning a Therapeutic Recreation Diploma

“My job is to help older adults have fun,” says Danielle Beauchamp, Stenberg Therapeutic Recreation grad. “It’s fantastic. I wake up every day excited to go to work.”

She finds fulfillment knowing she’s improving seniors’ quality of life.

“I feel productive, like I’ve helped somebody, and that my career makes a difference in people’s lives, and that’s something I was really looking for in a career.”

Jobs in therapeutic recreation offer new challenges every day, keeping professionals on their toes as they effectively impact the lives of seniors in their communities.

If you’re looking for a career that truly helps others to live their best lives, therapeutic recreation is a secure and rewarding place to start.

Interested in Learning More?

Stenberg's Therapeutic Recreation (Gerontology) Program is a 46-week program designed to prepare graduates to find employment in this exciting field. Learn more about the program by clicking the button below.


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