Creating Wellness Programs with Older People: A Process for Therapeutic Recreators


  • M Jean Keller
  • Norma Haston Turner


Wellness, Older People, Therapeutic Recreation Programs


Wellness programs are recognized today as a viable means of helping individuals achieve
their potential to lead creative and productive lives; however, little attention has been given
thus far to wellness and the elderly. Based on the similarities between the philosophies of
wellness and recreation therapy, the authors challenge recreation therapists to exercise
leadership in attracting the elderly into the wellness movement. They propose a developmental
process that therapeutic recreators can use to create meaningful wellness programs.
The process emphasizes the need for the elderly to be involved in designing and managing
programs to insure that the elderly will assume responsibility for their own wellness and the
continuation of the programs. The process consists of six steps: 1) defining the target
population; 2) assessing their needs and interests; 3) facilitating decision-making and behavioral
changes; 4) creating and implementing wellness programs; 5) empowering participants
to assume leadership roles; and 6) evaluating programs. Information is presented on
the rationale and process for achieving each step. Several ideas for wellness programs are





Research Papers