What is Diversional Therapy?
The primary goal of Diversional Therapy is to facilitate the process of empowerment and enable participants to make choices and decisions which maximise their participation in leisure experiences that suit their individual needs and wants. This is achieved through the facilitation, co-ordination and planning of leisure and recreational programmes that are designed to support, challenge and enhance the psychological, social, emotional, spiritual, cognitive and physical well-being of individuals.
Diversional Therapy professionals recognise that leisure participation is the right and essential need of all individuals within society. Diversional Therapy professionals recognise and facilitate positive leisure experiences that contribute significantly to health and well being. Utilising their understanding of human behaviour and functioning Diversional Therapists draw on the multiple benefits of leisure participation to enhance individual’s quality of life outcomes.
Source: The Diversional Therapy Association of Australia National Council Ltd (DTAANC)
What is a Diversional Therapist (DT)?
The diversional therapist’s role is to help improve consumers’ quality of life through the use of recreation and leisure. This can be done in a hospital and community setting using a variety of activities for example games and sports. These activities can be developed for individuals or groups.
In the nursing home setting I believe it is very important to keep the residents entertained and occupied. The hours and filling in the day can be very long for some.
Where I presently work we have 3 diversional therapists (resident activities officers or Activities person) who entertain our residents for most of the day. On weekends we have 1, but it is plenty as all week they are entertained non stop.
It may include residents being taken for walks, even taking those in wheelchairs, weekly bus trip outings. It seems like almost daily we have some kind of concert including singing and piano playing, with many residents having a dance now and then. The facility pays for people to come and entertain.
We have had belly dancers in and the residents loved it. Also a mobile farm came one day, with lambs, rabbits etc and set up 'the farm' in one of the lounge rooms. The residents thought this was fantastic. To see residents faces 'beaming with huge smiles" is priceless.
The usual bingo, lawn bowls inside, happy hours etc. Recently we have started having a reflexologist who comes and does reflexology and massage on residents who would like it.
Just sitting and talking to residents is an activity- there are not many residents who do not like the company or even someone just to sit and have a chat with them or share a cuppa with (if the time permits).
I have never seen so much activities on offer in a nursing home and I think it is terrific. The diversional therapists, who tell me it can be a very draining day, do a wonderful job. Good on you all.