University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 2016


Therapeutic Recreation


Recreation and Park Administration




Michelle Davis Gerken

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


More than four million people in the United States have some type of dementia and 17,000 nursing homes care for around 1.6 million patients with dementia. Recreation Therapy is a treatment service created to restore and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition. The purpose of this study is to analyze the benefits of Recreation Therapy for patients with dementia in long term care facilities. Studies indicate that Recreation Therapy is a safe alternative to psychotropic medications. Recreation therapy interventions do not have the negative side effects of psychoactive medications that are often used for patients with dementia. Proven benefits of Recreation therapy include but are not limited to, improved strength, flexibility, and time management, controlled behaviors and agitation, and overall increased well-being of each resident. Through legislative support and staff advocates within these long term care facilities, carefully planned Recreation Therapy interventions truly do improve an individuals quality of life.