Water Therapy- More Than Just Physical Benefits

Meet Betty. She is a returning patient to South Okanagan RECOPE program.  RECOPE as its commonly known as, is water-based therapy for people, mainly seniors, suffering from debilitating diseases, soreness and issues related to their physical health however, the program offers so much more than that.   South Okanagan RECOPE Society was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation to add much-needed clinical hours for their patients.

“Getting in the water is like a mental reboot for me,” said Betty.   In the last 5 years, Betty has had back surgery, a hip replacement and is waiting to have her other hip replaced in the coming months.  Having to deal with such extreme pain related to these issues has taken a toll on Betty’s mental health.  “When you are at home and isolated and all you have to think about is the pain you are in and your mental health really starts to decline,” said Betty.  “Getting out of the house and in the water, where there is zero gravity, not only helps with pain management but you are meeting other people who are going through the same issues you are,” said Betty.

RECOPE staff take in patients from either doctor or self-referrals and first, work with them one-on-one and then bring them into a group class setting.  “We first like to assess where the patient is at and then once we have a handle on their abilities and areas of weakness then we can bring them into a group setting,” said Jean Munro, RECOPE Program Manager.

Bringing patients together in a group setting not only is therapeutic for their physical ailments but it also helps with their mental state.  “My mental state wasn’t great but I knew I could come here and feel at ease and meet other who feel the same,” added Betty.

The Community Foundation grant allowed RECOPE to add more clinical hours to their program which means more local patients, like Betty, are getting the therapy they need to feel better.  The grant was made possible through funds, like the Lancey Family Fund, which supports senior’s programs and services.