VA recreational therapy isn’t confined to a hospital
When Veterans think of recreational therapy, they may think of a room with tables, treadmills, weights, cycles and a few elastic bands. But at VA the treatment includes activities such as rock climbing, painting, scuba diving or even golfing. The goal is to allow Veterans to return to their previously enjoyed activities or find new activities if a disability inhibits participation.
“It allows them to get out there and function as normal as possible. Water is great equalizer; we have people who have debility or issues with balance, pain. This is part of the Veteran’s treatment,” said Jamie Kaplan, a recreational therapist at the Tampa VAMC.
The physical challenge itself isn’t the only therapeutic benefit.
“I think it will help me because you are pretty much by yourself and being by yourself lets you think about a lot of stuff… I get a good workout, physically and mentally,” said U.S. Army Veteran Luis Cortes.
VA Adaptive Sports holds Veteran events across the country every year to challenge Veterans and give them a competition to work towards.