Northeast Passage’s Community/Home Based Recreational Therapy program is a health promotion/prevention program currently available to individuals with disabling conditions. Services are currently offered as a value added benefit to members of the U.S. Family Health Plan at Martin’s Point Health Care and the Manchester, NH Veteran’s Administration. The program uses a multifaceted approach that combines education, application and psychosocial support systems to address a client’s individualized needs.
The goal of this health-promoting program is to attain and maintain health and decrease the occurrences of secondary conditions of disability, resulting in an enhanced quality of life. The program is administered by Licensed Therapeutic Recreation Specialists who use recreational activities that are relevant to a client’s life in a purposeful way in order to meet personal goals and accomplish functional outcomes.
Therapists work hand-in-hand with clients, families, friends and treatment teams to address personal goals, improve overall quality of life, and to invest in personal health, functional fitness and independence. By engaging in physical activity and pursuing experiences that gives one’s life meaning, individuals with disabilities can maintain a health promoting lifestyle.
Northeast Passage has successfully offered this program (PATH – Promoting Access Transition & Health) for over ten years. Initially designed as a research study, the project was designed to decrease the incidence of secondary conditions, improve adjustment to disability and functional independence for individuals with new spinal cord injuries. Positive outcomes from that study led to fee for service contracts with the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan through Martin’s Point headquartered in Portland, ME and the Veterans Administration in Manchester, NH.
Since inception, the model has been applied with patients experiencing newly acquired disabilities, individuals with chronic conditions and those aging into disability. Through this program, Northeast Passage has worked with over 140 different diagnosis including Multiple Sclerosis, amputation, TBI, stroke, spinal cord injuries, visual/hearing impairments, orthopedic disabilities, neuropathies and others.
Clients have shown tangible and measurable gains such as increased functional fitness, weight loss, lowered blood pressure and blood sugar, decreased need for medications, and engagement with community. In addition to physical advances, clients have also shown emotional gains such as increased happiness, confidence, self-acceptance, patience and social connectedness.
Client addresses key areas of health and wellness related disability/current life condition. NEP will introduce individualized health and wellness information based on client’s risk factors.
Individualized Fitness Program
Client will increase physical activity based on personal situation in home and/or community setting.
Client and therapist work to identify, test, fit, develop skills and fund adaptive equipment that will assist client in meeting goals.
Practical Functional Skill Development
Client will fine-tune advanced functional skills including transfers, self-direction, management of health conditions and mobility through participation in recreation activities and community involvement.
Community Integration in Home Community
Clients explore their home community, identifying accessible restaurants, stores, attractions and places of business and with support, and advocating for accessibility in non-accessible locations.
Client explores personal networks for ongoing support in fitness, social and community involvement.
Individual and Family Recreation Skill Development
Client and family identify recreation activities of interest and develop the skills necessary to participate.
Resource & Network Development
Clients learn the process for tracking down resources and develop a resource file including support agencies, accessibility guidelines, recreation programs with appropriate supports, equipment resources, low interest loans, transportation, state agencies etc.
Call-in Resource and Referral
Client will have unlimited access to this service through the Northeast Passage office.
Sample Client Goals:
- Explore adaptive recreation/leisure options to do with family
- Increase overall sense of well being and confidence
- To meet others that share leisure interests
- To manage stress through activity
- Increase functional skills and capabilities, as well as understanding “what is possible”
- To ride a bike with family
- To go fishing and canoeing with sons
- Plant a vegetable garden again
- Improve Overall Health
All services take place in a client’s home community to assure transfer of skills.
Northeast Passage is currently working on additional models and applications of this program. For more information on potential contracts or receiving services, please contact: Cathy Thompson, CTRS/L at Northeast Passage by phone 603-862-0070 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.