Therapeutic Recreation's Role in Cardiac Rehabilitation

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Introduction We live in a changing world in many ways, and one of these evolving characteristics is that humans tend to live longer now. We in Ireland can expect to live into our mid-seventies on average. This can be attributed to scientific and technological developments and our own changing attitudes. Dunning (1993) describes this using Elias' civilising process theory when he explains that society has evened out somewhat with economic growth and the growing power of the lower social strata over the past century or so. Dunning goes on to explain that as a result of the prevalence of democratic and stable governments and the growth in division of labour, it is the case that people in the more civilised societies of today are taught and expected to exercise more regular, even, stable and comprehensive control over their behaviour and feelings. This trend is evident in many aspects of society, including the recent advancements in the treatment, perceptions and rights of those with disabilities. If you look back a mere one hundred years to the beginning of the 20th century we find evidence of how people with disabilities were treated as inferior and institutionalised for most if not all of their usually short lives. This was especially the case for those who suffered from a congenital disability such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. It wasn't until after World War II that people with disabilities became more prominent. This was partly due to the many soldiers who returned with disabilities from traumatic injuries suffered during combat. This led to the creation of the Stoke Mandeville Centre in England where international wheelchair sports competitions were held for the first time in 1944 (Sherrill, 1998). This ... ... middle of paper ... ...s for persons with disabilities. Madison, USA: Brown & Benchmark Publishers. McGuire, F., & Goodwin, L. (1991). Cardiac Rehabilitation. In Austin, D., & Crawford, M. (p320). Therapeutic Recreation: An Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Montoye, H., Christian, J., Nagle, F., & Levin, S. (1988). Living fit. In Austin, D., & Crawford, M. (1991). Therapeutic Recreation: An Introduction (p.321). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Sherrill, C. (1998). Adapted physical activity, recreation and sport. USA: McGraw-Hill. Stopford, V. (1987). Understanding Disability. London: Edward Arnold Wilson, P., Edgett, J., & Porter, G. (1986). Rehabilitation of the cardiac patient: Program organization. In Austin, D., & Crawford, M. (p323). Therapeutic Recreation: An Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Websites www.irishhealth.com www.cso.ie www.who.int/en/

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