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Following a brain injury, survivors often have a sudden surplus of time on their hands. Many individuals are unable to return to work at their former jobs, and even those able to effect such a return will often spend some time between discharge from a rehabilitation facility and re-entering the workforce just getting used to living day to day with an injury. To help fill this time, it is important that survivors and their families identify recreational activities that can be enjoyed in spite of the survivors’ injuries. Here is a list of ten recreational activities, based on suggestions from TLC patients, that can be successfully engaged in even when a person is contending with significant deficits due to a brain injury:
1. Reading – This may be a regular book, a large print book or an audiobook.
2. Art – Activities such as drawing or painting often are inexpensive and involve minimal physical demands.
3. Spending time with family and friends – This can be an in-person get together or even something as simple as a phone call.
4. Board and Card Games – Most require minimal physical skills though a card holder can prove useful if a survivor only has one good hand.
5. Going to the movies – There are usually a few theater spots reserved specifically for those in wheelchairs.
6. Attending concerts – By law, all public venues must be handicapped accessible but calling ahead with any accommodation requests often makes things easier. TLC patients attend yearly a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo concert. The organization hosts special nights in which there are extra accommodations made for those with these deficits.
7. Watching athletic events (either in person or on TV) – When TLC went to an Astros game, stadium workers ran over to help as soon as they saw our patients in wheelchairs. TLC staff actually had to ask these sweet workers to give the patients room to work on independence!
8. Video Games – For those with only one good hand, the Wii often works well. In addition, certain companies make one-handed controllers.
9. Fishing – TLC once had a patient in a wheelchair and with limited hand use enter a fishing tournament. He caught over twenty fish in just a few short hours!
10. Adaptive Sports – Many sports (such as bowling and golf) can be easily adapted to survivors’ needs.
These are just a few quick ideas for recreational activities that a brain injury survivor (even one with significant deficits) can engage in. It is best to identify multiple recreational options in order to keep a healthy variety of life activities.
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