This page provides an overview of the recreation professional in long-term care based on the information given to us by Recreation professionals in the field and the sources outlined below. The role of a recreation professional may vary based on the long-term home and region. For a more comprehensive picture of this role, visit the recreation professional association information links below. This page is part of our Careers in Long-Term Care Initiative.
What does a recreation professional do?
A recreation professional creates and leads meaningful activities and programs for residents to keep them engaged, active, and give meaning in their lives. They work together to understand the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual needs and strengths of residents.
Recreation professionals keep a safe and comfortable atmosphere in LTC homes and build friendships with residents. They uncover what brings residents joy and purpose and look for ways to meet their goals.
Various clips used in this video were filmed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection control practices (such as wearing a mask) may be shown.
What skills will I use?
- Interpersonal communication
- Teamwork and collaboration
How do I become a recreation professional in LTC?
Many LTC homes prefer or even require you to have a diploma or degree in recreation and leisure studies or therapeutic recreation. These programs take between two to four years. If you already have a degree, a postgraduate certificate in recreation and leisure studies or therapeutic recreation may only take one-to-two years.
- Volunteer coordinator
- Recreation aide
- Recreation therapy assistant
- Music therapist
- Art therapist
- Clergy/spiritual leaders
- Activation manager or life enrichment manager (management)
- Director of recreation/life enrichment (management)
Connect to recreation associations
- Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. Therapeutic Recreation Ontario: A blueprint to combat LTC residents’ helplessness, loneliness and boredom.
This profile was reviewed by Therapeutic Recreation Ontario.
The webpage is part of the Ontario CLRI at RIA’s Careers in Long-Term Care Initiative