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Changes after a brain injury

Leisure changes

Leisure activities are a very important part of your recovery. They’re great ways to let go of stress, learn skills, enjoy life more, and feel good. Leisure activities help to add meaning and quality to your life.

Recreation therapy helps you get back to doing leisure activities and be more involved in your community. It helps you develop skills, knowledge, and find resources so you can take part in activities that add quality and meaning to your life.

Changes after a brain injury that can affect leisure and lifestyle include:

  • having a lot of free time, especially if you can’t go back to work or do the activities you did before the injury
  • losing interest, motivation (how much you want to do something), or being able to think about doing a leisure activity
  • poorer social skills
  • not being able to do leisure activities because of a physical problem or having trouble communicating
  • having trouble paying attention, concentrating, planning, and problem solving

Some areas of Alberta may not have a recreation centre, programs, adaptive equipment (that allow a person to do an activity), or other recreational resources. You can use these resources to help you learn how to be active and get involved with leisure activities:

Tips for family and caregivers

  • Remind them that leisure activities are an important part of their recovery.
  • Encourage them to take part in recreational activities both in the hospital and in their community. Families and friends are always welcome.
  • Let them try new things and decide what they’d like to do. Start with 2 or 3 ideas. Giving too many ideas at once can be confusing and frustrating.
  • The recreation therapist can give you more ideas and information on recreation activities.
  • Help them plan recreational activities outside of the hospital.
  • Be a role model and do activities with them.
  • Be patient and understanding. It may be hard to start leisure activities again, or try new ones, when you’re no longer able to do things you used to or as well as you used to.
  • Have puzzles, books, pictures, and a radio or speaker, at the hospital and at home.​

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