Ryan Chesterman, CTRS
Basically, we try to help our patients remember that there are no limits in the game of life. Having fun is important. Laughing is important.
Sports have always played an important role in Ryan Chesterman's life. Perhaps that's why he understands just how valuable athletics and other leisure activities are in enhancing a person's quality of life. And perhaps that's why he's chosen to help patients rediscover ways to pursue the types of activities that they enjoy most.
Through Recreation Therapy, patients learn how to participate in a wide range of sports – from tennis and golf to cycling and skiing – often using adaptive equipment. Similarly, they may learn to paint with special brushes or use a computer modified to accommodate their physical limitations. They may even try bingo and other games using larger cards and markers to facilitate play.
"What's most important to me is finding a way to help a patient do whatever he or she wants, especially in ways that help to reinforce the skills and strategies they've acquired through physical, occupational and speech therapies" says Ryan. "It's often this collaborative effort that enables a patient to feel comfortable with and even excited about expressing their social or competitive side again."
Recreation Therapy also helps to ease the transition to home, work and the community. "We schedule trips to local markets and shops to help patients learn to navigate through aisles, deal with sales personnel and adjust to crowds.
"And while they may need to have a little more patience, take a different approach or make some other adjustment, the good times are still there be enjoyed."