Washington DC VA Medical Center
Recreation Therapy Month
Painting, writing, singing, swimming and playing basketball, is all in a day’s work for Washington DC Veterans Affairs’ Recreation and Creative Arts Therapists. But don’t think for a minute this is all fun and games. This is serious work; the therapists are helping Veterans enhance or maintain their motor, physical, social and cognitive skills. The uniqueness of recreation therapy and creative arts therapy is that it provides unconventional treatment methods for Veterans who resist other treatment approaches and it’s a lot of fun.
According to Recreation Therapy Supervisor, Jon Palks, seeing Veterans develop self-confidence and coping skills is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. “I’ve seen Veterans take what they learn here and apply it their home life.”
Recreation and Creative Arts Therapists are an integral part of the Capitol Excellence Caregiver team. These health professionals work throughout the hospital and beyond to promote good health, prevent diseases and help improve the quality of life for the Veterans they serve. You may see them teaching an art class, helping a patient learn to ride a horse, teaching Veterans a new song or planning a field trip to war memorials in DC or any number of things.
February is National Recreation Therapy Month, a perfect time to honor those who not only improve Veterans quality of life and vital life skills, but employ a unique, personalized and holistic approach to health care.