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Understanding Administrators’ Perceptions of Recreational Therapy in Long-Term Care

Tarah Loy, Brent Hawkins, Jasmine Townsend

Abstract


Although research continues to suggest that recreational therapy benefits elderly residents in long-term care (Buettner & Fitzsimmons, 2011; Fitzsimmons, Sardina, & Buettner, 2014; Kolanowski, Fick, Frazer, & Penrod, 2010; Seitz et al., 2012), administrators often remain unfamiliar with the profession and the abilities of the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) (Bedini & White, 2018; Harkins & Bedini, 2013). Through the use of semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study sought New England administrators’ perceptions of recreational therapy in the long-term care (LTC) industry. Thematic analysis of the data indicated three overarching themes: financial support, facility culture, and knowledge of recreational therapy. These three themes are suggested to influence administrators’ decisions to utilize recreational therapy (RT) in their facilities. Recommendations for the profession include administrator education on the benefits of recreational therapy; continuing with evidence-based research to advocate for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) coverage; and creating a facility culture through family, resident, and staff education where RT is considered a necessity in LTC. 

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Keywords


Administrators; advocacy; culture change; education; leadership; long-term care; recreational therapy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/TRJ-2019-V53-I4-9754

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