Building Bridges: Recreation and Therapy Join Forces!

I have always respected the work, and at times, miracles, that our therapists have accomplished over the years. In my opinion, PT/OT has never been stronger, far-reaching and influential in our residents’ lives. Our goal at The Maplewood is to help residents live to their maximum potential. Our departments, working together, can achieve even more results!

Led by Director of Therapy, Liz Benedict, our Therapy Department is an energetic, innovative bunch. Liz and I have realized that the recreation and therapy goals are often closely intertwined and many of our residents can prosper from our combined expertise and knowledge. We are working on developing several ideas into collaborative programs.

Communication is obviously the key. We’re on excellent terms. Both Departments respect each other and understand what each are trying to accomplish.

While this initiative is in its infancy, we’ve already begun to unlock its potential. Occupational Therapist, Jordan Hess, discovered that a resident, who rarely participates in activities, plays bridge. She and Volunteer Coordinator/Bridge Group Leader, Lori Porte, arranged to give it a try. Last week, with Jordan at her side, this resident played bridge for nearly the entire hour and was quite sharp. Jordan encouraged her to pick up the cards and place them on her own, a terrific approach to adding some OT to the game. It was a significant moment for this particular resident!

We have our sights set on cooking projects, too. Staff usually does most of the preparation during cooking activities. With help, many residents may be able to participate in the mechanics of cooking by cutting, stirring and mixing. When we feature a resident’s special recipe, it gives them great ownership. If that resident were encouraged and chose to do more of the physical work, their sense of pride and accomplishment would increase tremendously.

The entire Recreation staff is looking forward to working closely with Liz and her people to enhance our residents’ quality of life and physical well being!