The Leisure Step Up is a program/protocol that teaches clients to use leisure time in a healthy way.
Leisure time is not all the same. As Dehn’s model points out, it is possible to use leisure time in unhealthy ways that cause harm to oneself and others. (Crime and drugs are typical activities.) A person can gain little from leisure time by spending hours in front of a television or playing computer games. (Of course, if these leisure activities result in not sleeping enough or not having enough energy for work or school, the activities are harmful.) A person can use his/her free time to be with friends, learn new skills, read books, dance, or cheer for the home team. (S/he will end up healthier and happier as a result.)
Often a person who is having problems in many areas of his/her life will not even think about the effects of how s/he spends his/her leisure time. This step-by-step program helps walk the client through the process of identifying the positive and negative aspects of his/her leisure, provides an understanding of how leisure affects the whole life, and teaches new, healthier patterns. The Leisure Step Up is a protocol based on leisure wellness that provides the therapist with testing tools and numerical scores for measurement of gain or loss, and provides the client with leisure worksheets.
Once a facility buys the book, staff at the facility may make as many copies of the testing tools and worksheets as needed. This allows the client to have a leisure workbook/resource book to take home at discharge and provides the therapist with the assessment tools and progress materials s/he needs to place in the chart. Written to be used on either short stay (one week) or long stay units, this leisure education and treatment program may be used with clients who are over ten years old and cognitively able to function at the fourth grade level. (This would include clients receiving psychiatric or rehabilitation services.)
Leisure education is a must to help our clients achieve better health and functional ability. But health insurance companies haven’t wanted to pay for this type of therapy before. Past leisure education programs did not provide the therapist with functional measurements and outcome measurements that insurance companies and managed care require. The Leisure Step Up provides that kind of information!
A colorful poster showing the levels of leisure participation is also available.