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    Caring for Ourselves: How to Combat Caregiver Burnout

    Tips, suggestions, and a cool new service in California aiming to curb the stresses of caring for others through the love of leisure and recreational pursuits.  The demand put on caregivers – whether it is your career, family obligation or otherwise is a tiresome task, and can be burdensome at times. As front line healthcare workers, recreation therapists and activity specialists we can start to feel out of sorts, overwhelmed, and stress right out! These feelings left unchecked can have severely negative effects in our work, our home lives, and our mental and physical well being. Caregivers in any capacity (even a fun field like recreation) need time to unwind,…

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    Budget Friendly Programming Purchases

    As we can all attest to, budgets are always tight and programming ideas are forever in need. I compiled a few of my favorite budget friendly programming “must-haves” recreation/activity related books that have aided me through my work in long term care on a meager budget. 1. Scratch and Solve Hangman – $5.56Get it HereFor a little over $5 on amazon, this Hangman game is a huge hit among my residents. The game is a “guess and scratch” set up – where you guess a letter, then scratch off to see if the letter is indeed part of the word that has already been set up by the game! No “thinking…

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    Volunteer Management 101: What you need for successful volunteer services

      Whether you have 1, 10, or 500 volunteers for your organization, you need to know the ins and outs of how to manage unpaid staff. Here are the top 5 things you’ll need, to excel at volunteer services. 1. Actively understand the definition of a volunteer! This might seem simple and already implied, but for organizations that are just starting or a program that is newly recruiting volunteers it’s a good place to start. A volunteer is described as a person who donates their time and energy without receiving financial or material gain. The basic outlines of a volunteer is that these individuals are to be working towards a humanitarian, public…

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    On your mark, get set…Go for Gold with the Geri Olympics

    When you think of geriatrics the first thing you think of is athletics, right? ​Well for Ted Muilenburg that’s exactly what he envisioned over 30 years ago.   I had the incredible opportunity to pick the brain of  the Executive Director for the Institute of Geri Olympics and Active Living. This organization is one a kind, and showcases the need for physical activity, community collaboration, and large group/team programming in long term care. The Geri Olympics is an annual event every April, that Nursing Home residents across the globe can participate in; hosted in West Virginia. The organization also offers an array of other services, from consultations with geri olympic specialists, mind…

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    Get SMART about your CEUs!

    ​Have you heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder”?  We all strive to get more done, be more professional, be more effective as recreation therapists and still maintain a life outside of work.  Now you can gain all of this through accessing NCTRC Pre-Approved CEU online courses at S.M.A.R.T. CEU’s Hub.  Courses are available in a variety of  areas such as behavioral health, cognitive health, geriatrics, administration, theories and modalities and more!!  Our mission is to provide quality, affordable, and relevant continuing education courses that will equip Recreational Therapists in the workplace.  Taking online courses allows recreation therapists the freedom to  take classes anywhere, any time and at a low cost…

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    Geriatric Therapeutic Coloring: Childish or Genius?

    Adult coloring has become a trend over the past few years, with thousands of companies developing intricate detailed coloring books for teens and adults. But, do we know the benefits of what “coloring” can provide? And, what about the elderly population? Has the market advanced enough to provide for the needs of an already unserved population? First, lets look into the benefits of therapeutic coloring as a medium for intervention, or activity. Research into the effects of coloring activities for people living with dementia show positive outcomes, most notably a decrease in agitation and anxiety.The therapeutic value of coloring comes in part from a participant’s need to concentrate and in doing so…

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    So you need some credentials…

    Whether you’re in the activities field or the rec therapy field we are always looking to add to our resumes, build on our skills and add some CREDENTIALS to our name for all our hard work! So, the questions remain…what does it take? What are the steps? What exactly is the process?  Well, the answer to all of those questions are outlined in this post for your convenience. Know what you need to do, and the steps you need to take can seem daunting, troublesome and confusing. Hopefully with the help of What The Rec, some insight to what exactly you’ll need and resources that can help you get there.Disclaimer: These…

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    Recreation Therapist vs. Activities Director

    One major question in our various fields is: What is the difference between recreation and activities? What is the difference in Recreational Therapy and being an Activities Director?Do these careers overlap? And, what are the pathways to obtaining these careers? 1. What are the differences? While these two careers overlap in various aspects; there are significant differences between what a Recreational Therapist and/or a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist can do compared to an Activities Director. TR as a field of study aims to use recreation as a means to improve quality of life in people of ALL ages and abilities, by using their interests to obtain specific goals. In short, recreation…