PART-TIME | PORTAGE CAMPUS THERP-CT Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults

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  • Certificate program
  • Full-time study available
  • Practicum experience
  • Two field work placements

Gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in therapeutic and leisure recreational programming and services for older adults. You will learn to plan, promote, deliver and evaluate effective programs for clientele in various settings, including: personal care homes, extended hospital care, adult day centres, assisted living and other community based programs.

Workplace safety, privacy and health regulations are a key component of the program.

You can complete this program through full-time studies. To learn how, see Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults

NOTE:  Academic Writing (EDUA-1002) can be taken in lieu of Academic Communication (DCSP-1001). This will be a one-way credit only towards the Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults Certificate Program.

Admission Requirements

It is recommended that you have basic computer skills, familiarity with word processing and using the Internet for research. If you do not have these skills, it is strongly recommended that you take a basic computer skills course.

Regular Admission Requirements
  1. Grade 12
  • Submit proof of successful completion of or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit of:
    • Grade 12 English
If you will be using education earned outside of Canada or the United States to meet admission requirements, visit International Student Credentials for information and instructions

English Language Requirements (ELRs)
  • If you were educated outside of Canada or the United States, submit results of an English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) indicated you meet the following ELRs:
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Certificate - exit Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels from an English as a second language (ESL) program:
    • Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 8, Writing 8
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic):
    • Listening 6.5, Speaking 6.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5
  • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST):
    • Listening 4.5,  Speaking 4.5,  Reading 4.5,  Writing 4.5 
  • Due within 30 days of applying. However, if you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.
  • We strongly advise you successfully complete an English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) before submitting your application to ensure you can meet the 30 day deadline. 
  • ELPAs must be dated within two years of your application date.
  • After confirming you meet ELRs, the College will send you a request to submit your international academic credentials for assessment.
  • For more information, visit International Student Credentials

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.
  1. Grade 12 English
  • Submit proof of successful completion of or enrolment in one credit of Grade 12 English

Program Progression Requirements
After acceptance into the program but prior to registration into certain courses, you will be required to submit the following:
  • An original official Adult Criminal Record/Vulnerable Sector (ACRVS) Check
  • An original official Child Abuse Registry (CAR) Check
  • An original official Adult Abuse Registry (AAR) Check
  • A completed HSP Net Form
If you have a criminal record or are listed on either the Child Abuse Registry or Adult Abuse Registry you may not be able to complete the program. For more information, visit: Police Information Check

Who Should Enrol?

To be successful you must enjoy working with older adults and should have good oral and written communication skills in the English language and be physically able to perform tasks as required. You must be willing to accept direction and responsibility and work cooperatively in a team setting.

Program Outline

You must successfully complete 20 courses and two field works to graduate from this program.

Recommended first courses of study:

  • TR - Computer Applications (COMP-1164)
  • Academic Communication (DCSP-1001)*
  • TR - Foundation to Therapeutic Recreation (RECF-1045)
  • Interpersonal Communication 1 (COMM-1170)
  • Introduction to Gerontology (HCAP-1006)

The following order is recommended:

  • Therapeutic Fitness Leader (RECF-1035)
  • TR - Leisure Concepts (RECF-1046)
  • TR - Assisting with Dignity (WRKS-1034)
  • TR - Cognitive Impairment (RECF-1047)
  • TR - Valuing Diversity, Faith & Culture (RECF-1049)
  • TR - Dealing with Loss & Palliative Care (RECF-1050)
  • TR - Group Dynamics & Interdisciplinary (RECF-1048)
  • TR - Program Planning (RECF-1052) 
  • TR - Adaptations & Intervention (RECF-1001)
  • Specialized TR Applications (RECF-1023)
  • TR - Infection Control Workshop (WRKS-1033)
  • TR - Documentation Skills (RECF-1051)

These workshops are recommended closer to Field Work:

  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (SEMR-9078)
  • Emergency First Aid/CPR (HEAL-1846)
  • WHMIS (SAFE-1028)


  • TR - Field Work - Community Based (PRAC-1052)
  • TR - Field Work - Facility Based (PRAC-1053)

Note: Students require a C+ in each course to successfully complete the program. The workshops and field works are based on a Pass/Fail.

* Academic Writing (EDUA-1002) can be taken in lieu of Academic Communication (DCSP-1001). This will be a one-way credit only towards the Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults Certificate Program.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check for additional contact information.
COMM-1170Interpersonal Communication 1
More Information

Content is focused on human communication experienced in the helping professions. Emphasis is placed upon the student's growth, self-knowledge and behaviour in groups. Instructional methods will include discussions and activities to expand understanding and experience.

COMP-1164TR - Computer Applications
More Information

Learn the basics of Microsoft Windows and the MS Office (Windows) skills to create multi-page reports in Word, presentations using PowerPoint , newsletters, cards, and signage using Publisher. This course is not suitable for MAC system. 

DCSP-1001Academic CommunicationRPL
More Information

Students will develop the writing skills that will assist them to communicate their ideas in an academic setting (e.g. how to write a term paper), complete an incident report at work, and make oral presentations (e.g. public speaking skills) for both the work and college environment. For this last area, students will prepare and deliver a multimedia presentation on a self-selected topic.

EDUA-1002Academic WritingRPL
More Information

This course instructs the techniques and processes for educational assistants to produce accurate documentation in written communication skills using a variety of genre. It outlines the use of a thesis statement and APA format for research purposes. Emphasis is placed on sentence structure, developing a variety of sentence types and the correct use of grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation. The intent of this course is to provide educational assistants with the skills to support students in the writing process. The course should improve the educational assistant’s written communication with teachers.

HCAP-1006Introduction to Gerontology
More Information

Explore the concepts of the aging process. Examine the critical issues that affect aging, personal adaptation to aging, and community resources. Topics include the demography of aging, societal and personal attitudes to aging, major theories of aging, physical aging, psycho-social aging, economic, social and political factors.

HEAL-1846Emerg. First Aid with CPR C
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This course provides simple First Aid and CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals who want an overview of First Aid and CPR for the home or workplace. This  course covers the role, function and responsibilities of the first aider, skills needed to recognize and respond to emergencies, shock and  treatment, major bleeds. obstructed airway and other breathing emergencies, cardiovascular emergencies,  and CPR Level C. CPR Level C covers adult/child/baby CPR - one rescuer, adult/child/baby choking, barrier devices/pocket masks, AED, adult/child 2-rescuer CPR.

PRAC-1052TR - Field Work - Community Based
More Information

You will put all skill area theories into practice, with particular emphasis on group program planning in community based settings. The seminars will integrate the concepts learned during the TRF for Older Adults program with your own experiences in a community setting. 

PRAC-1053TR - Field Work - Facility Based
More Information

Gain exposure and experience working in facility-based settings. Put theory into practice, and address the key skill areas of professionalism in assessing/meeting a client's needs in facility-based settings. The seminars will integrate the concepts learned during the TRF for Older Adults program with your own experiences in a facility setting. 

RECF-1001TR - Adaptations & Intervention
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Develop an awareness of how physical, emotional and social disabilities may limit performance and learn to adapt activity programs to meet an individual's specific needs.

RECF-1023Specialized TR Applications
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Explore a variety of specialized recreation applications for older adults in community and institutional settings. Topics will cover volunteer inclusion, special event planning, sensory stimulation, cognitive programs, music programs, food-related programs, horticultural programs, intergenerational programs, movement/exercise programs, animal assisted programs, humour programs, reminiscing programs and spiritual programs. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to implement program options that meet the expected outcomes of your clients' care plan.

RECF-1035Therapeutic Fitness Leader
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This course will allow you to gain the theoretical and practical proficiency to develop and implement safe, therapeutic fitness programs for seniors at varying levels of functional well being. The course will involve study in the areas of human anatomy and physiology, basic fitness components, leadership development techniques, strength/resistance training theory/design/ implementation, specific challenges/common disorders/ safety considerations for working with the older adult population and program design, implementation and evaluation for programs at varying levels of functional abilities (independent/high; moderate; or low functioning). Skills such as how to incorporate music, how to adapt the class to work with different levels at once, how to provide progressions and how to utilize different apparatus/equipment to provide variety and prevent over-use or over-training. At the conclusion of this course the students will be able to develop and implement at least 1 exercise program for all 3 functional levels that they can use in the workplace. 

RECF-1045TR - Foundation to Therapeutic Recreation
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Learn the basic concepts, principles, procedures and terminology of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) including standards of practice and code of ethics.

RECF-1046TR - Leisure Concepts
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This course provides an introduction to the concepts of leisure, recreation, work and play. It differentiates between general leisure pursuits and how trained recreation facilitators can use this knowledge to assess, plan, implement and evaluate therapeutic interventions. The five main bodies of philosophical thought will be discussed as they pertain and influence leisure experience and service delivery. The procedures, tools, and forms, used in community and long term care settings in the design and delivery of leisure programs will be reviewed and discussed. Potential theories of what this means in the future for individuals, societal components as well as for the profession of therapeutic recreation will be explored.

RECF-1047TR - Cognitive Impairment
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Improve your confidence in working with clients with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementia disorders. Examine causes, functional ability, assets, deficits and communication. Through practical case studies and situations, learn about therapeutic activities that will enhance the functioning of this population and lessen the extent of unwanted behaviour.

RECF-1048TR - Group Dynamics & Interdisciplinary
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Learn the processes involved in group dynamics, the importance of attending and listening skills and group goals. Develop skills through group activities and observational learning. Study group communication, diversity, leadership, and how groups make decisions. Learn how to build a strong team.

RECF-1049TR - Valuing Diversity, Faith & Culture
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Study demographics in regards to current immigration patterns, religion, aging, healthcare and community supports. Explore the role culture plays in society and how it influences TR interventions, communication, value of TR and the role of family and the individual.

RECF-1050TR - Dealing with Loss & Palliative Care
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Examine the various types of losses that occur throughout the life span, and the methods of providing support in these situations, relating to the elderly in particular. Learn to identify the stages of grief and cultural and spiritual perspectives on loss, grief and death. Develop an awareness of the grief process and ethical dilemmas associated with loss, grief and death. Explore end of life care and the differences between palliative and hospice care.

RECF-1051TR - Documentation Skills
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Become familiar with documentation skills and how they apply to therapeutic programming, the planning process and assessment. Discover the value of assessment as an ongoing process, and learn charting etiquette and technique. Discuss different charting styles, and the issues of confidentiality in relation to documentation.

RECF-1052TR - Program Planning
More Information

Become familiar with the different concepts and methods involved in assessing, planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating programs within facility-based and community-based settings. Learn how to assess your client's needs, deal with leisure barriers and determine the differences between individual and group planning.

More Information

The Workplace Hazardous Materials System (WHMIS) is a system for ensuring that important information about hazardous products is communicated where products are used, stored and handled. This course provides Information necessary to understand and interpret information about hazardous products, including pictograms (symbols), labels and Safety Data Sheets.

SEMR-9078Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (r) Training Program
More Information

The Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (R) Program is a safe, non-harmful behaviour management system designed to aid human service professionals in the management of disruptive and assaultive people, even during the most violent moments. It has been developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute, a training organization devoted to training staff in the safe management of potentially violent individuals.

WRKS-1033TR - Infection Control Workshop
More Information

Learn proper procedures to manage infection control while working with clients in both facility and community settings.

WRKS-1034TR - Assisting with Dignity
More Information

Learn how to assist clients with dignity while attending to their personal needs.


Click the "More Info" link beside the course's name to view the description of the course.

Course Dates and Fees

2024 Fall Term
HEAL-1846 Emerg. First Aid with CPR Cmore info
Location: Portage La Prairie Campus
DatesClass DaysTimeDeliveryInstructorSectionCostActions
Oct 05, 24 - Oct 05, 24Sa9:00AM - 5:00PMTBA259091$123
Nov 23, 24 - Nov 23, 24Sa9:00AM - 5:00PMTBA259093$123
Location: Portage La Prairie Campus
Oct 05, 24 - Oct 05, 24
Class days
9:00AM - 5:00PM
Nov 23, 24 - Nov 23, 24
Class days
9:00AM - 5:00PM
RECF-1045 TR - Foundation to Therapeutic Recreationmore info
Location: Portage La Prairie Campus
DatesClass DaysTimeDeliveryInstructorSectionCostActions
Sep 12, 24 - Dec 05, 24Th6:00PM - 9:00PMTBA259248$479
Location: Portage La Prairie Campus
Sep 12, 24 - Dec 05, 24
Class days
6:00PM - 9:00PM

CO-OP/Practicum Information

The practicum provides you with the opportunity to apply, in the practice setting, the knowledge and skills learned in the theory courses. 

The practicum is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Practicum placements are determined by the College.

To be eligible to participate in the practicum, you must:
  1. Successful completion of all theory courses.
  2. Official Adult Criminal Record/Vulnerable Sector (ACRVS) Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted. For further information, visit Police Information Check
  3. Official Adult Abuse Registry Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted.
  4. Official Provincial Child Abuse Registry Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted.

Contact the program facilitator at to enquire about registering for practicum and providing record checks. Please contact the program facilitator prior to requesting record checks.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, you should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively and empathetically in all interactions by using active listening as well as written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. 
  • Demonstrate personal integrity and accountability in all roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate professionalism by participating in life-long learning and advocating for the profession. 
  • Use appropriate documentation procedures and tools for the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of all aspects of the profession. 
  • Apply the skills necessary to plan, promote, and deliver therapeutic programs.
  • Evaluate programs based on identified goals and objectives and make necessary modifications. 
  • Comply with workplace safety, privacy, and health regulations by adhering to the organization’s policies and procedures.
  • Create individual, small group and large group program plans by identifying interests, assessing needs, and adapting as necessary.
  • Use a variety of technologies to communicate research, create documents, and utilize facility-specific software.
  • Commit to advocating and supporting the individual through a sincere understanding of their holistic needs.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit

Graduation Requirements

Students require a C+ in each theory course and a Pass in each workshop and Field Work Placement to successfully complete the program.

You must complete your part-time program within four years from the start of the first course in the program, unless otherwise stated in the program outline.

You will not be granted more than 75% of your credit requirements for graduation through transfer of credit.

When you have successfully completed all the required courses in this program, be sure to apply for your certificate. For complete details and forms, see

Questions about graduation? Please call 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073 for assistance.

Graduation with Honours
If you obtain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.8 or better for the program, you will graduate with honours. If you fail any course in the program, you will not be eligible for this honours designation.

Employment Potential

Graduates of the program are prepared to work with older adults and adults with disabilities in therapeutic and leisure recreation programming. Employment is found in long term care, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, adult day centres and community based settings.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.