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Every 9 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury according to the Brain Injury Association of America. Brain injury can impact a person's mood, personality, and functional abilities indefinitely. 3.5 million people sustain acquired brain injuries each year, which are caused by instances of electric shock, near drowning, seizure disorders and stroke. Traumatic brain injury is seen in more than 2.8 million people each year, and are caused by external forces such as car accidents, falling, assault and more. Recreational Therapy (RT) can be utilized as part of a treatment plan to help those living with brain injury live their best lives. The goals for those in RT programming are to achieve the highest possible level of independence. These goals vary across individuals and cases, but can include ways to overcome barriers to leisure and community.

Recreational Therapy Interventions


Recreational therapy is founded on the principles of a strengths-based approach, which means recreation therapists use the strengths our clients have to achieve goals they have for themselves in regard to recreation, leisure, independence, and community. Not everyone with a brain injury has the same goals, and not everyone has the same needs, wants or values when it comes to their recreation and leisure goals. Our team is here to help facilitate that journey and aid our community members with brain injury to lead leisure enriched lives through inclusion, adaptability, community engagement and focusing on person-centered goals.


Based on diagnosis, input from our team and the client, and a leisure interest and needs assessment, an individualized treatment plan is developed that identifies the recreation goals for the client. The overall goals of the recreational therapy journey with EmpoweRT are to improve physical, cognitive, and/or social functioning, and to return the individual to as independent and active of a lifestyle as possible. Specific interventions for those living with brain injury include:

  • Leisure Skills Education: – Individual sessions where the value and benefits of recreation is discussed, the strengths-based approach to leisure, coping strategies, and discussions based around interests, and learning about new skills, abilities and recreation resources/activities.

  • Leisure Skills Instruction: individual and/or group sessions where individuals explore past or new recreation interests. They learn how they can return to these interests through the use of adaptive equipment, adaptive techniques, activity modification, compensatory strategies, and/or a variety of resources (Some of these skills could include, but not limited to, Adaptive Hand-cycling, Adaptive Kayaking, Adaptive Fishing, Animal Assisted Therapy, Expressive Arts, and Assistive Technology.)

  • Community Reintegration: individual and/or group sessions where a client’s abilities and independence are brought out in real-life situations. These outings are designed to help the individual adjust and re-acclimate to their community in the context of their disability and learn tools, and skills to thrive within their respective community settings. (Some of these outings could include, but not limited to, Art Museum, Top Golf, Bowling, Parks, Botanical Gardens, Outdoor Concert, etc.

Community Connection


Empower Recreational Therapy has proudly accepted several invitations from local support groups with the Brain Injury Association of Georgia and from local Wellstar Stroke Support Groups to provide education and share community resources. Most recently, EmpoweRT was invited to speak at a TBI peer support group at Fyzical Therapy Sprayberry led by Pete Kane. Supporting the local community through education, and speaking events is just another way EmpoweRT connects and supports its community members, and other organizations.


EmpoweRT partners with various organizations to bring many of our programs to life, such as partnering with Georgia Tech Tools for Life to utilize assistive technology and adaptive equipment to optimize function. We are able to support greater community needs in our partnership with the Catalyst Sports - Adaptive Kayaking community program and Paws for Life USA for Animal Assisted Therapy needs.


Our community connections make us stronger together to provide the best and most effective ways to ensure our clients are connecting with their community in meaningful, and person-centered ways.

Our Team & Contacts


EmpowerRT has Recreation Therapists that have significant experience and specialized knowledge in treating both Acquired Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury. To find out more about our team: https://www.empowerrectherapy.com/our-empowering-team


To learn more about how we can help you, a loved one, or your community please reach to us at https://www.empowerrectherapy.com/contact

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Did you know July is Social Wellness Month? The ability to connect with others and maintain strong relationships is a crucial part of our overall wellness and can be more difficult as we age. Surrounding yourself or your loved ones with people within your community and interacting in social environments can have incredible impacts on mental and physical health.


Older adults are at a higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social connections that can come with growing older such as hearing, vision, memory loss, ability to leave their current environment and more. Were you aware that people who are socially isolated are more likely to be admitted to the emergency room on an above average basis, have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline? Being around people and being social does not just feel good but is actively helping decrease the risk of many comorbidities related to social isolation!

Are you or a loved one at risk for social isolation?

o Live alone

o Can’t leave home

o Are a caregiver

o Have trouble with hearing, vision or memory

o Had a major loss or life change, such as the death of a partner

o Feel a lack of purpose

o Often refuses to leave room within a senior living community

EmpoweRT aims to assess and integrate social wellness in our programming in a variety of ways depending on the client's needs.

1. Integrating Family Activities: Recreational therapists intentionally include the caregiver and family into sessions to provide education on communication skills and how to include their loved ones of all ability levels into recreation/leisure activities. One of our clients enjoyed watching his grandsons' baseball games, but he was always on the sidelines. His recreation therapist was able to arrange an intergenerational adapted home run derby game, where he played alongside his son and grandsons on the field. Check out this testimonial from his family: https://www.instagram.com/p/CaR9bAmLEQ5/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

2. Integrating into Community Centers: Recreational therapists can utilize their knowledge of your local community to connect you with activities and resources that will benefit not just your body, but your mind and spirit to continue to work on your goals outside of your therapy sessions! This is especially empowering for those individuals with dementia, stroke, and/or depressive diagnoses as recreational therapy helps overcome cognitive and emotional barriers to community participation. Check out this testimonial from one of our client's daughters who is thrilled that her mom is out of the house playing bridge every week: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca19Xs5suUe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

3. Acclimation to Senior Living: Recreational therapists can be a valued resource to those residents who rarely come out of their rooms living within senior living communities. Recreational therapy uniquely embraces client's strengths as a therapeutic approach. Our recreational therapy team is experienced in these settings and get the "big picture" of working with the client, family, and senior living staff to improve community acclimation and quality of life together!

4. Group Outings: Utilizing client's similar interests and goals, Empower Recreational Therapy plans specialized group outings as a way to ensure we keep social isolation at bay! Check out this community group adaptive fishing outing here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ce7DVZrD8Dn/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Let’s work together to get you and your loved ones back into your local community.


Want to learn more about EmpoweRT’s Services?


Follow Us on Social Media

Instagram: @empower_rectherapy Facebook: EmpowerRecreationalTherapy

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Parkinson’s Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase awareness about the ailment and its symptoms, as well as to support those living with the disease, and educate care partners. Parkinson’s is a long-term disorder where the central nervous system degenerates and that affects the motor system. Motor symptoms like trembling, stiffness, and rigidity are usually associated with Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms typically occur slowly. One side is often affected first, but as Parkinson’s disease (PD) progresses, both sides are affected. Patients and care partners alike need resources, support and services that assist in their unique needs, questions, and goals to optimize quality of life and wellness.


Empower Recreational Therapy aims to assist those living with PD and educate their care partners on programs in your area that could enable ways to delay the progression of the disease, improve quality of life, and connect care partners and families with support groups.

How does Empower RT aid in quality-of-life standards for those living with Parkinson’s Disease?


1. Recreational Therapy (RT) Comprehensive Assessment – Each person who is referred to Empower Recreational Therapy's services will participate in a holistic RT comprehensive assessment to understand their unique needs. Recreational therapists utilize valid and reliable assessment tools that measure physical, cognitive, emotional, leisure, and social functioning. In addition, Empower RT administers a modified assessment tailored to quality-of-life measures specifically for those living with PD to aim to improve quality of life measures through adaptive fitness and recreation programming. Assessment results are summarized into a Wellness Executive Summary to keep you, your primary care physician, neurologist, and other health professionals informed.

2. Delay the Disease (DTD) Group Program - Empower RT partners with Aloha to Aging, Inc. to offer Delay the Disease programming. Weekly classes empower people with PD through symptom-specific exercises that promote improved physical, cognitive, and emotional outcomes. DTD is an evidenced-based national fitness program designed to empower those living with PD by optimizing their physical function and helping to delay the progression of symptoms. Classes target Parkinson’s symptoms and emphasize large movements, loud voices, balance, strength development, flexibility, core and posture, endurance, mental acuity all designed to retrain the mind and body. Participants report improvement in quality of life, regained ability to successfully manage the disease, and maintenance of independence. This program targets daily functional challenges and symptom-specific fitness agendas. Exercise plans are adapted to all levels of the disease, valuable to newly diagnosed and progressed states alike.

3. Individual Recreational Therapy Sessions: Individualized RT sessions are empowering for people living with PD to continue to reach their wellness goals through adaptive fitness and recreation pursuits in the comfort of their home. All evidence-based practice from the Delay the Disease group programming is brought in to assist those living with PD in individualized sessions, in conjunction with their RT comprehensive assessment plan. All sessions for those with PD are individualized to that specific person, to ensure utmost quality of life can be retained for as long as possible.


Community Resources for Care Partners:

  • Delay the Disease community classes are offered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Mondays 3-4pm.

  • Delay the Disease community classes are available for any Senior Living Community in our service area! Please contact us at lkelly@empowerrectherapy.com to learn more about implementing this into your community programming.

  • Aloha to Aging, Inc. offers Parkinson's Support Groups - 1st Monday of the month at 2pm

To learn more about our Delay the Disease Program, please visit:

For Delay the Disease class fees and registration, please email:

To learn more about Empower RT's Wellness model, please visit:

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