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 inpatient recreational therapy for adults and children of all abilities, recovering from conditions both complex and common.

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.
    • Art Therapy
      As part of our inpatient rehabilitation program, art therapy uses creative outlets to help patients work toward physical rehabilitation and emotional well-being. During customized, one-on-one sessions with a licensed art therapist, patients strengthen fine motor skills, process emotional trauma, improving neurological function and much more.
    • 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.
    • Sexual Health Education Clinic
      After experiencing an injury, illness or disability, it’s common to have questions about navigating sexuality and intimacy. Mary Free Bed offers private education and resources on sexual health and intimacy to both inpatients and outpatients. Click here to learn more and receive sign-up information.
    • 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.
Need Rehabilitation? Ask for Mary.
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