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Recreation Therapists share exercise resources at annual conference

October 9th, 2019

Points West Living (and its operations group, Connecting Care) held its annual leadership conference in Edmonton October 1-3. It included an address by our new CEO, Linda Revell, team building, corporate updates, and several breakout sessions. One of those sessions was presented jointly by PWL's Recreation Therapists.

6 RTs serve 7 communities

Points West Living currently has six Recreation Therapists serving in seven communities. “About 6 weeks before the conference, this group was asked to do a presentation at the conference,” says Lisa Smith, Recreation Therapist at PWL Stettler. They met weekly by videoconference and prepared a presentation on Exercise.

“The day before our presentation was the first time many of us had met face to face,” says Lisa. Besides Lisa, the group included Delray Dempsey from Red Deer, Dawn Robertson from Cochrane, Haley Wilde from Wetaskiwin, Karly McDonald from Lloydminster, and Anoop Jose from Lac La Biche and Cold Lake.

All about Exercise

“Our presentation covered what Recreation Therapy is, why exercise is important, how to increase participation, and the importance of sharing safety information at the beginning of an exercise program,” says Lisa. “The group then pulled out various pieces of exercise equipment such as weights, resistance bands, and pool noodles, and demonstrated a selection of exercises.”

The presentation included some of the successes Recreation Therapists have seen while working with residents, such as the correlation between exercise programs and preventing falls; using music to engage memory care residents in exercise, and incorporating music into other activities.

“We prepared a booklet containing information we covered in the presentation as well as 6 sample exercise programs,” says Lisa, “and gave copies to each community, so all recreation coordinators would have access to the information.”

“Beyond the information that was shared,” adds Lisa, “the best part of doing this presentation was the opportunity for all of the Recreation Therapists to get to know each other, share ideas, brainstorm, and build relationships that will allow for future conversations and problem solving.” 

Photo: Lisa Smith (left) with PWL Stettler General Manager Carol Dyck, shows the Exercise Programs booklet developed by Recreation Therapists for use throughout Points West Living

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