Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
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Recreational Therapy

Life’s more fun when you’re doing things you love. That’s why recreational therapy is an important part of recovery – activities you enjoy can improve your health and well-being.

Our certified therapeutic recreation specialists work closely with other members of your health care team to craft a treatment plan that’s guided by your personal goals. You can:


Rec therapy and the therapy garden

Who’s eligible?

Mary Free Bed offers both inpatient and outpatient recreational therapy for adults and children of all abilities, whether you’ve experienced an illness or injury that required inpatient rehabilitation or to help manage a condition such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

Hailey Naugle in therapy pool

What makes our program unique?

Designed to help you regain independence and inspire you to live a healthy, active lifestyle, your therapy plan will be as unique as you are. Here are some of the programs we offer:


    • Adaptive gaming
      Millions of Americans play video games and if that includes you, we have adaptive gaming equipment options for all abilities and levels. It’s not only fun, it’s therapeutic!
    • Animal-assisted therapy
      Our trained animal-assisted therapy dog works with our recreational therapists to help you improve fine and gross motor skills, mobility and endurance as well as cognitive function. Her presence alone can lift your spirits!
    • Aquatic therapy and swimming evaluations
      We’ll work with you on strength-building aquatic therapy, swim skill refinement and relaxation techniques in the pool at Mary Free Bed, your pool at home or in a community pool.
    • Community outings
      Gain confidence in everyday scenarios in the community and around town after graduation. We often visit the Downtown Market, John Ball Zoo and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park or attend concerts and other events.
Sledding with Vandy
    • Music therapy
      Mary Free Bed’s board-certified music therapist uses live-music sessions to facilitate recovery and help accomplish individual patient goals.
    • Private pet visitation
      Miss your furry friend? We’ll arrange a visit with your dog during your stay with us, provided all vaccinations are current.
    • Small groups
      Several activity-based sessions, such as cardio drumming and horticulture, are offered on weekends as fun ways to stay active and create friendships with other patients during your hospital stay.
    • Special events
      We host several memorable events throughout the year to make your time with us more enjoyable, such as Mary and Brite, an outdoor light show held during the holidays.
    • Support groups
      Meet new people facing the same challenges you are and connect with former patients who can share their stories and offer empathy and support throughout your rehabilitation journey. One-on-one peer meetings also are available. You’re welcome to attend our support groups after your stay, too.


    • Adaptive bike evaluations
      We’ll evaluate your abilities and recommend an adaptive bike that best meets your physical and recreational needs.
    • Adaptive hunting and fishing
      Interested in getting back into one or both of these sports? We’ll complete a special safety evaluation and ensure you have the adaptations you need.
    • Community reintegration
      We’ll provide education to safely get you back into the community. Whether it’s navigating the bus system or competing in your bowling league, we’ll help you approach it with confidence.
    • Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports
      Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program offers classes, clinics and adaptive sports opportunities for people with disabilities. It’s one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. Many former patients become participants! Build lifelong friendships and experience the joy of being active in a supportive environment.

To participate in outpatient recreational therapy, simply request a referral from your provider or call 616.840.8005.

Therapy Bike
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