"1 Came Here to Die:" A Look at the Function of Therapeutic Recreation in Nursing Homes


  • Marcene Goodman


aging, nursing homes, therapeutic recreation programming


Generally the elderly are identified as a stigmatized subculture victimized by society's denial or avoidance of their physical problems, social needs and psychological issues. So much more the case for the nursing home resident, who is characterized as helpless, passive and socially insensible. The article questions the efficacy of recreational activities as they exist in the nursing home milieu today. Does therapeutic recreation take into account the physical, social and emotional needs of the nursing home resident? What is the basis for rationale in building therapeutic recreation programs? Where is the didactic emphasis in university programs designed to educate the recreational therapist? It is concluded that recreational activities become therapeutic only when they have evolved from a detailed knowledge of the problems gennane to a given population.



Professional Development