n. A person who designs and implements programs of treatment or therapy that use recreation and activities to help people whose functional abilities are affected by illness or disability.
For example, the terms therapeutic recreation specialist, rehabilitation therapist, recreation activity specialist/consultant, program facilitator, special needs co-ordinator, and activationist, among others, are frequently used interchangeably.
—Nancy Morphet, “The Pros & Cons of Certification,” CALL Magazine, March 17, 2000
The team referred to in this paper includes the regulated professional disciplines whose services are in most facilities and are funded by one of the three envelopes into which a facility's operating budget is divided (i.e., accommodation, programming, nursing and personal care). These professions are registered nurses/registered practical nurses, social workers, dietitians, activationists, physio/occupational therapists and staff educators.
—“The Professional Care Team in Long Term Care,” Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors, February 01, 2000
1994 (earliest)
The 10 occupational therapists from Metro Toronto homes for the aged are delighted that interest in the care of the elderly has reached the front page of The Globe and Mail. We need all the available caring seniors' workers, be they activationists, recreationists or program directors, to promote the use of occupations to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.
—Thora Smaller, “Caring for the old,” The Globe and Mail, May 31, 1994
This word is a curious job title, indeed, implying as it does that such a person somehow "activates" another person, as though some switch is flicked on. In any case, it seems clear from the second example citation that these sorts of workers really don't know what to call themselves.
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